If there's a trend I should have seen coming it's the advent of the SmartNIC. The days where a server CPU could do the packet processing and a plain Ethernet port could handle the traffic are over. In an era of big data and artificial intelligence (AI), more data than ever has to be moved around, and the old way isn't cutting it anymore.
Last year, Mellanox introduced its SmartNIC, ConnectX-6. Intel has a programmable adapter called the Ethernet 800 series, although it falls just shy of a SmartNIC because it's not as flexible in terms of what it can be programmed to do.
Thanks to Andy Patrizio (see source)