Alibaba Innovative Research (AIR) > Research on Frontier Technologies in Data Center and Server
【CCF-AIR青年基金】Cloud Storage Oriented DPU Architecture

Research Themes

Research on Frontier Technologies in Data Center and Server


Except to CPU and GPU, DPU is innovative processing-unit technology in the world. With the rise of DPU, CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) and start-up companies pay great attention to it. While it’s clear that DPU can accelerate virtualization-related functions like virtio-net and virtio-blk in computing scenes, it’s unclear how DPU should deal with data movement and data processing in storage scenes. Thus, it’s important to explore how DPU is adopted in cloud storage.

Meanwhile, CSPs are developing hardware and software co-design technology to improve competitiveness. DPU is one of most promising technology for codesign. Thus, it’s quite important to study DPU in Alibaba, and it’s challenging for cloud storage.  

Different from virtualization-related computing and acceleration in computing scenes, storage is IO related and focuses on data movement and processing. The architecture of DPU for storage doesn’t focus on functions like CPU Cache, ALU and Virtualization, and focuses on data processing functions like data compression and encryption. However,  such DPU architecture of data processing is unclear now. Especially, the CPU cores of DPU like Bluefield and IPU is not found out its role in storage scenes. Thus, it is important to study DPU architecture for cloud storage.


  • A study report for DPU architecture, which should be related to IO datapath in cloud storage. 
  • A DPU PoC for DPU architecture, which should prove it’s able to improve the capacity of data processing.
  • One international paper and three innovative solutions.

Related Research Topics

  • Storage accelerations like compression and EC.
  • Different between DPU and multicore DPU.
  • The role of ARM cores in DPU.
  • The runtime system of DPU for accelerations, network and ARM cores.

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