March 13, 2017

Contributed by Bev Crair, Vice President, Software and Services Group, General Manager, Strategic Software Initiatives 

As Imad Sousou mentioned in his blog, Intel will be more actively engaging with the FreeBSD Foundation and the FreeBSD Project to deliver more timely support for Intel products and technologies in FreeBSD. While Intel has been contributing to the BSD code base for some time, for example with the Intel® Intelligent Storage Acceleration Library (Intel® ISA-L) and iflib drivers for Intel® network interface controllers (NICs), thus far the efforts of Intel and the community have been fragmented. The focus has been on individual devices or technologies rather than taking a more holistic systems approach.

But, technologies don’t exist in isolation. Faster devices require more bandwidth and lower latency to the processor. That means more processing power and accelerators to analyze more data in more ways. As we move into the world of connected devices generating massive amounts of data, and in turn delivering massive amounts of analyzed and processed data back to customers and consumers, the interactions among system components become more critical.

Through this closer collaboration, we intend to engage the FreeBSD community in enabling the tools, compilers, drivers, and other software needed to take advantage of our latest technologies, including Intel® Optane™ products.

Support for new Intel® technologies integrated into systems when they come to market is a requirement for customers across a diverse range of operating systems and platforms. Helping our customers who use FreeBSD get rapid access to those technologies will help them solve the challenges of an ever more complex and interconnected world.