SANTA CRUZ, Calif.--Exar Corp. (Fremont, Calif.) revealed details about its second-generation Panther-II compression and security chip and its plan incorporate the novel file-system level compression/decompression technology it recently acquired from Altior Inc. (Eatontown, N.J.) into future generations of Panther.
Like the original Panther, the second generation Panther-II will provide compression, decompression, encryption and decryption services for compute-bound applications in need of hardware acceleration. However, future generations of Panther will also adopt Altior's AltraFlex technology designed to meet the needs for sophisticated software analytics running on Big Data within the enterprise and cloud-based applications.
"Today, Panther is designed for structured data, but there are big opportunities in unstructured data that we want to address," said Exar President and CEO Louis DiNardo at the recent Global Press eSummit. "We recently acquired Altior's AltraFlex to address this Big Data market."
Altior's current implementation uses a field-programmable gate-array (FPGA) to process unstructured data at about 15-Gbits per second, but Exar plans to port AltraFlex to their Panther line of ASICs thus boosting its throughput to 40-Gbits per second. And unlike the application-level compression offered by current generation Pather ASICs, Exar's new AltraFlex derived solution will run under the operating system kernel, allowing a single PCI-e card to compress Big Data by up to 50 percent, and in a manner transparent to users and programmers.
"Your just plug-in the PCI-e card, and it starts compressing at the file system level," said DiNardo. "It's a unique solution—there is really nothing else like it available today."
The second generation Panther-II compression and security engine has a PCI-e interface for board-level implementations plus can be accelerated with an external FPGA.
By using more than one AltraFlex-inspired Panther together, throughput of file-based unstructured data compression and decompression can be boosted to even higher throughputs, according to DiNardo, such as achieving 80-Gbits per second with two future-generation Panthers.