Chief scientist discusses memory stacks, interconnects, and US technology leadership.
<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/Cray_Gemini_schematic_small.bmp” alt=”” width=”122″ height=”82″ />Supercomputer maker Cray is methodically and inevitably shifting its technology focus from hardware to software. Another step in that direction played itself out this week in the company’s sale of its highly treasured supercomputing interconnect technology. On Tuesday evening, Cray and Intel announced that they signed a “definitive agreement” that would send the interconnect program and expertise to the x86 chipmaker.
<img style=”float: left;” src=”http://media2.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/Intel_Cray.JPG” alt=”” width=”91″ height=”77″ />At first glance, the announced acquisition of Cray’s interconnect technology by Intel comes as a surprise to the HPC community, simply because Cray still stands for innovation, and with this deal they are selling one of their last proprietary assets. At second glance, however, you find a couple of good reasons, from the perspective of both parties, which makes it a win-win situation, at least in the short-term.
Ellison and company put some big bucks behind InfiniBand.
Russian supercomputer maker T-Platforms is continuing its push into the elite end of the HPC market. On Monday, the company announced a joint venture with a group at the University of Heidelberg to develop a new ultra-fast interconnect for high-end supercomputing. The goal is to bring the technology to market in the form of an ASIC, which can be incorporated into a network interface controller for HPC servers.
Last week, the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) used the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’10) to unveil the new roadmap for InfiniBand. In a nutshell, the IBTA is moving the technology to 104 Gbps, using a new coding scheme that promises 100 Gbps of useful data in a 4-lane configuration.
Supercomputer maker Cray did a pre-launch of sorts for its upcoming “Baker” supercomputer on Tuesday, giving the machine its official product designation: the XE6. Although the company won’t be shipping the hardware until later this year, there’s already a backlog of orders for the petascale machines, and Cray is setting the stage for a big debut.
Microsoft Research gives Lightfleet’s optical interconnect technology a whirl.
Supercomputer maker Cray had one of its best years in recent memory, but just missed posting a profit. This week the company told investors what went wrong and right for the company in 2009, and gave an outline of what’s on tap for 2010.
This week Mellanox announced a refinement of its ConnectX line with the ConnectX-2 architecture. This latest evolution enhances its combination InfiniBand/Ethernet network adapter cards with new features, such added support for IEEE DCB standards and enhanced RDMA access, while maintaining the advantages of the previous line for those needing to support multiple protocols with limited server real estate.