Top Ten Hot Trends in Semiconductor Industry in 2022- TOP3
DPU becomes the upstart entrepreneur of SoC.
In October 2020, Nvidia formally named the SmartNIC scheme based on Mellanox as the data processing unit (Data Processing Units, DPU), and called CPU, GPU and DPU as the "three pillars of future computing".
Since then, the concept of DPU has become popular at once, and many competitors from all over the world have come one after another.
The emergence of DPU is not surprising, which is another stage sign of heterogeneous computing.
As we all know, the slowdown of Moore's Law makes the marginal cost of general CPU performance growth rise rapidly, but the computing demand always shows an explosive growth trend. The phenomenon of "scissors difference" between performance growth and data growth is an important reason for the development of special computing chips represented by DPU.
Global demand for computing power doubles every 3.5-4 months, much faster than the current growth rate of computing power.
Driven by this, the global computing, storage and network infrastructure is also undergoing fundamental changes, and some complex workloads can not be handled well on the general CPU.
Therefore, in order to reduce the burden of CPU kernel and improve computing efficiency, DPU is gradually replacing CPU chips in network data processing, network security and network interconnection protocols.
Although it is a "new species" in the digital infrastructure, DPU is not born out of thin air, but has been pregnant for a long time.
From the early processing and unloading of network protocols to the subsequent addition of various functions such as AI, security, storage and network on the basis of SmartNIC, it can accelerate performance-sensitive and general tasks, better support the upper layer services of CPU and GPU, and become the central node of the whole network and a new generation of computing chips.
It can be said that the DPU chip has only been functional before, but "lack of status".
Intel, Broadcom, Nvidia, Cylins, Marvell, which are familiar to us, are important players in the DPU market, but in the past two years, China's DPU start-up enterprises represented by Zhongke Yuji, Xin Qiyuan and Nebula Zhaopin have also joined the fiery DPU track. For a time, DPU has become the hottest concept of SoC entrepreneurship in 2021.
According to International Electronic Business Intelligence, China's DPU market will be close to 20 billion yuan by 2023, while other analysts predict that China's DPU market is expected to exceed $3.7 billion, or about 24 billion yuan, in 2025.
In the future, the order of magnitude of DPU used in the data center will reach the same level as the data center server, and it can even be said without exaggeration, "each server may not have GPU, but there must be one or several DPU/ IPU cards, which will be a market of hundreds of billions of magnitude."