Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications
November 25, 2008
Despite the recent upsurge in 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch and adapter offerings, the InfiniBand market seems destined for double-digit growth over the next few years, driven largely by the high performance computing sector. In this month's TOP500 list, 28.4 percent (142 systems) are connected with InfiniBand, compared to 24.2 percent in June.
Mellanox has positioned itself as the market leader in InfiniBand technology, and went public last year. The company recorded 76 percent revenue growth from FY06 to FY07, a year in which it recorded $84.1 million in sales. In the first three quarters of 2008, it has already booked $82.5 million.
Not wanting to miss out on the fun, QLogic has been busy building its InfiniBand line-up, first through acquisition (Silverstorm and PathScale), and most recently through home-grown offerings. In June, the company announced new DDR (20 Gbps) and QDR (40 Gbps) Host Channel Adapters based on its own TrueScale ASIC silicon. This month, QLogic completed the strategy with a new TrueScale ASIC for QDR switches. The ASIC is destined for QLogic's 12000 Series QDR director-class and edge switches, scheduled for commercial release in early 2009. The new gear will compete with Voltaire's recently announced QDR Grid Director 4000 switches based on Mellanox silicon.
As such, QLogic will be the only InfiniBand vendor offering QDR adapters and switches with native silicon. (Mellanox makes both types of ASICs, but doesn't offer its own switch boxes). Presumably QLogic will continue to offer their DDR Silverstorm switches -- with Mellanox chips -- as the industry transitions to QDR over the next few years. According to Kevin Judd, QLogic product manager, the company is not planning on offering their new ASICs to other switch vendors. "We see this as a true competitive advantage for us," he told me. "It shifts the dynamic of how we build the switches. We're in control of our own destiny."
The 12000 switch family is based on a modular architecture that can scale from 18 to 864 ports. At 29.8 ports per 1U enclosure, QLogic is claiming the densest InfiniBand rack mount switch on the market. And at 7.8 watts per port, the company says they have the lowest power consumption per port for a director-class switch. The new gear also has a few extra features, including adaptive routing to reduce congestion and virtual fabric support for partitioning sub-clusters within a system. The latter allows users to apply quality-of-service controls, such as allocating bandwidth to specific services and specific nodes.
Probably more important than any specific feature set is that fact that QLogic will no longer depends up Mellanox for switch silicon for QDR and beyond. Certainly OEMs were interested in having multiple sources of this technology, especially as InfiniBand has became a mainstream element of HPC and has even started to expand to other applications. The fact that QLogic has jumped into this market with both feet might end up accelerating broader deployment in the enterprise.
According to Judd, his company is in a better position than Mellanox to drive this technology to a larger audience because of their depth of enterprise service and support. The company is about three times the size of Mellanox and has an established base in the storage connectivity market. And although QLogic hasn't released pricing on their upcoming QDR switches, now that the company produces their own InfiniBand ASICs, it should be able to compete more effectively with regards to cost and product differentiation. "We definitely think it's going to put some competitive pressure on the marketplace," said Judd.
Posted by Michael Feldman - November 24, 2008 @ 9:00 PM, Pacific Standard Time
Michael Feldman is the editor of HPCwire.
No Recent Blog Comments
In quieter times, sounding the bell of funding big science with big systems tends to resonate further than when ears are already burning with sour economic and national security news. For exascale's future, however, the time could be ripe to instill some sense of urgency....
In a recent solicitation, the NSF laid out needs for furthering its scientific and engineering infrastructure with new tools to go beyond top performance, Having already delivered systems like Stampede and Blue Waters, they're turning an eye to solving data-intensive challenges. We spoke with the agency's Irene Qualters and Barry Schneider about..
Large-scale, worldwide scientific initiatives rely on some cloud-based system to both coordinate efforts and manage computational efforts at peak times that cannot be contained within the combined in-house HPC resources. Last week at Google I/O, Brookhaven National Lab’s Sergey Panitkin discussed the role of the Google Compute Engine in providing computational support to ATLAS, a detector of high-energy particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
May 23, 2013 |
The study of climate change is one of those scientific problems where it is almost essential to model the entire Earth to attain accurate results and make worthwhile predictions. In an attempt to make climate science more accessible to smaller research facilities, NASA introduced what they call ‘Climate in a Box,’ a system they note acts as a desktop supercomputer.
May 22, 2013 |
At some point in the not-too-distant future, building powerful, miniature computing systems will be considered a hobby for high schoolers, just as robotics or even Lego-building are today. That could be made possible through recent advancements made with the Raspberry Pi computers.
May 16, 2013 |
When it comes to cloud, long distances mean unacceptably high latencies. Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany examined those latency issues of doing CFD modeling in the cloud by utilizing a common CFD and its utilization in HPC instance types including both CPU and GPU cores of Amazon EC2.
May 15, 2013 |
Supercomputers at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have worked on important computational problems such as collapse of the atomic state, the optimization of chemical catalysts, and now modeling popping bubbles.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
In this demonstration of SGI DMF ZeroWatt disk solution, Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI CTO, discusses a function of SGI DMF software to reduce costs and power consumption in an exascale (Big Data) storage datacenter.
The Cray CS300-AC cluster supercomputer offers energy efficient, air-cooled design based on modular, industry-standard platforms featuring the latest processor and network technologies and a wide range of datacenter cooling requirements.