Microsoft Azure networking is speeding up, thanks to custom hardware

FPGAs give customers the ability to get speed boosts in networking and soon in AI and deep learning Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Doug Burger holds up one of the company’s custom-built FPGA boards on stage during a keynote address at the Ignite conference in Atlanta, Georgia on September 26, 2016. Credit: Microsoft Networking among virtual machines in Microsoft Azure is going to get a whole lot faster thanks to some new hardware that Microsoft has rolled out across its fleet of data centers. The company announced Monday that it has deployed hundreds of thousands of FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays) across servers in 15 countries and five different continents. The chips have been put to use in a variety of first-party Microsoft services, and they’re now starting to accelerate networking on the…


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