InfiniBand will reach 200-gigabit speed next year

Mellanox will ship a set of products for end-to-end 200Gbps links for HPC and more

InfiniBand is set to hit 200Gbps (bits per second) in products that were announced Thursday, potentially accelerating machine-learning platforms as well as HPC (high-performance computing) systems.

The massive computing performance of new servers equipped with GPUs calls for high network speeds, and these systems are quickly being deployed to handle machine-learning tasks, Dell’Oro Group analyst Sameh Boujelbene said.

So-called HDR InfiniBand, which will be generally available next year in three sets of products from Mellanox Technologies, will double the top speed of InfiniBand. It will also have twice the top speed of Ethernet.

But the high-performance crowd that’s likely to adopt this new interconnect is a small one, Boujelbene said. Look for the top 10 percent of InfiniBand users, who already use 100Gbps InfiniBand, to jump on the new stuff, she said.

InfiniBand itself makes up just a small part of data-center networking. Less than five percent of all server controllers and adapters shipping these days use InfiniBand, with most of the rest using Ethernet, Boujelbene said. Intel Omni-Path, a 100Gbps interconnect that grew out of the company’s acquisition of onetime InfiniBand vendor QLogic, has an even smaller slice.

One thing that sets InfiniBand apart from Ethernet is its low and predictable latency. This matters a lot in HPC, where it’s common to run simulations that have to go through many iterations. Each delay in performing an interation gets compounded thousands of times, so it needs to be minimal, said Gilad Shainer, Mellanox’s vice president of marketing.

HPC systems are the most likely to have InfiniBand today. More than 200 of the huge systems on the Top500 list of supercomputers for 2016 use the interconnect. But it’s also being adopted in machine learning, big data, financial, fraud detection and other applications, Shainer said.

The HDR InfiniBand product lineup has everything needed for an end-to-end 200Gbps data-center interconnect, Mellanox says. It includes Mellanox’s ConnectX-6 adapters, Quantum switches and LinkX cables and transceivers.

The adapters can connect with any server CPU architecture, including x86, Power and ARM. The switch can have 40 ports of 200Gbps InfiniBand or 80 ports of 100Gbps, with a total of 16Tbps of switching capacity.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?