Intel and Lightbits Labs to collaborate on new data center solutions

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Intel and Lightbit Labs to collaborate on new data center solutions.
Lightbits Labs has demonstrated LightOS NVMe over Fabrics TCP (NVMe-oF)/TCP storage with remote direct memory access-class performance when accelerated with the Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapter with ADQ technology. (Credit: Lightbits Labs)

September 30—Intel Corporation and Lightbits Labs announced they would collaborate on developing new “disaggregated storage solutions” for data centers. The two firms hope to utilize their hardware and software resources to lower the operating costs of processing hubs.

At present, Intel is the world’s leading data center chip vendor, but it is facing strong challenges from its rivals. However, this new team-up could help it fend off the competition.

Intel and Lightbits Team Up Details

In a press release, Intel explained it forged a strategic partnership with Lightbits because of the exceptional quality of its technology.

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The chipmaker noted its collaborator’s LightOS, in tandem with its hardware, can increase storage efficiency and lessen underutilization. Moreover, the corporation stated the startup’s read-and-write management platform provides those benefits without negatively affecting performance or adding complexity.

Intel highlighted the success it had pairing Lightbits’ LightOS NVMe over Fabrics TCP program with its Ethernet 800 network adapter. The tech giant found the combined solution produced a 30 percent improvement in response time, a 50 percent latency reduction, and up to 70 percent better throughput.

For end-users, the joint hardware/software stack could provide increased ease-of-use, greater storage availability, more efficient scalability, and lower price-performance.

As part of their partnership, the two firms will develop new equipment and ecosystem innovations. The deal also includes Intel’s investment division, Intel Capital, becoming one of Lightbits’ financial backers.

Intel is Future-Proofing its Data Center Market Share

Based on the terms of its collaboration, Intel’s team up with Lightbits is more than just a one-off project. The partnership represents the chipmaker’s efforts to future-proof its sizable interest in the data center market.

Intel dominates the server processor industry currently, but Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia have their eyes on the crown.

Both chipmakers manufacture graphics processor units (GPUs) that optimize the function of data center artificial intelligence (AI) programs. Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, corporations and individuals have been forced to operate remotely. As a consequence, server companies have snapped up large quantities of high-performance GPUs to accommodate a massive spike in usage.

As leading GPU manufacturers, AMD and Nvidia have made tremendous financial gains in the post-pandemic landscape.

The two corporations do not intend to give up their data center market share once the global health crisis passes. Nvidia is in the process of buying Arm for $40 billion, in part to bolster its data center portfolio and knowledge base. Similarly, AMD is shifting its production orders to TSMC to ensure its forthcoming chipsets offer best-in-class performance.

By working with and investing in an emerging data center software provider, Intel is protecting its business interests. If the company’s server hardware is more powerful and cost-effective than the competition, its market position will remain dominant.

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