The area where FPGAs have shined brightest is in search-based applications. Most notably, Microsoft is deploying FPGA-accelerated nodes for its Bing service and Asian Web giant Baidu has implemented a similar approach for pattern and image recognition.

Now we are seeing the debut of an FPGA-based appliance that is accelerating select analytics workloads and giving Hadoop and Spark clusters a run for their money. Ryft, a company that has been serving the government sector for over a decade, is jumping into the commercial analytics space with the deployment of Ryft ONE, a 1U analytics appliance that combines Xilinx FPGAs, twin parallel server backplanes and up to 48 TB of SSD-based storage with custom software primitives that hide the underlying hardware complexity. According to company benchmarks, the Ryft ONE platform can analyze data at speeds up to and exceeding 10 Gigabytes per second, some 100 to 200 times faster than the fastest 4 core CPU/15 GB RAM servers.


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