Nvidia Launches Spectrum-X Networking Platform for Generative AI

By John Russell

May 29, 2023

Nvidia launched a new Ethernet-based networking platform – the Nvidia Spectrum-X – that targets generative AI workloads. Based on tight coupling of the Nvidia Spectrum-4 Ethernet switch with the Nvidia BlueField-3 DPU, Spectrum-X delivers 1.7x better overall AI performance and power efficiency, along with consistent, predictable performance in multi-tenant environments, according to Nvidia, which made the announcement at Computex this week.

In a pre-briefing, Gilad Shainer, Nvidia senior vice president of networking, said, “An AI cloud system utilizes two Ethernet networks. One is used for cloud control and user access; [it’s] often called the North-South network. The other one is the compute fabric connecting GPUs and CPUs [and] is commonly referred to as the East-West network. Traditional Ethernet used for East West connectivity is simply too slow to handle modern generative AI workloads.”

The Spectrum-X platform, said Shainer, is the world’s first Ethernet offering that’s purpose-built for AI. The platform includes the Nvidia Spectrum-4 Ethernet switch and BlueField-3 DPUs to create an end-to-end Ethernet infrastructure for Gen AI clouds. “Spectrum-X introduces a lossless Ethernet network, one that does not drop data packets and therefore is able to maintain very short tail latency. It includes new adaptive routing technology for RoCE RDMA operations, which translates to a 2x higher network performance versus traditional Ethernet when we scale GPU connectivity,” he said.

Shainer was asked during Q&A how Spectrum-X is able to avoid dropped packets, as buffer sizes are finite, and re-sending packets is commonly required when doing end-to-end congestion control.

Nvidia Spectrum-4

“Congestion control in traditional Ethernet is done, for example, by switches that try to detect cases and then create notifications that are used to do the congestion control,” said Shainer. “What we did [using] Spectrum-4 and BlueField-3, is to create a new mechanism for congestion control, which does not depend on the network to discover hotspots of congestion that have already occurred and then try to deal with them.”

“[Instead,] it’s actually using advanced telemetry to be able to understand latencies across the network and small changes in latency across the network in order to be able to identify [potential] hotspots. Getting that information very, very quickly to the DPUs actually controls the data injection rate, and with that, you can keep the network hotspot free. You are able to do lossless, you’re able to do adaptive routing on that case and on that network, and actually get a great level of performances,” said Shainer.

As described by Nvidia:

“The new platform starts with Spectrum-4, the world’s first 51Tb/sec Ethernet switch built specifically for AI networks. Advanced RoCE extensions work in concert across the Spectrum-4 switches, BlueField-3 DPUs and LinkX optics to create an end-to-end 400GbE network that is optimized for AI clouds. Spectrum-X enhances multi-tenancy with performance isolation to ensure tenants’ AI workloads perform optimally and consistently. It also offers better AI performance visibility, as it can identify performance bottlenecks and it features completely automated fabric validation.

“Acceleration software driving Spectrum-X includes powerful Nvidia SDKs such as Cumulus Linux, pure SONiC and NetQ – which together enable the networking platform’s extreme performance. It also includes the Nvidia DOCA software framework, which is at the heart of BlueField DPUs. Spectrum-X enables unprecedented scale of 256 200Gb/s ports connected by a single switch, or 16,000 ports in a two-tier leaf-spine topology to support the growth and expansion of AI clouds while maintaining high levels of performance and minimizing network latency.”

Spectrum-X, Spectrum-4 switches, and BlueField-3 DPUs are available now from system makers including Dell Technologies, Lenovo, and Supermicro.

Link to announcement, https://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/nvidia-launches-accelerated-ethernet-platform-for-hyperscale-generative-ai/

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industry updates delivered to you every week!

Watsonx Brings AI Visibility to Banking Systems

September 21, 2023

A new set of AI-based code conversion tools is available with IBM watsonx. Before introducing the new "watsonx," let's talk about the previous generation Watson, perhaps better known as "Jeopardy!-Watson." The origi Read more…

Researchers Advance Topological Superconductors for Quantum Computing

September 21, 2023

Quantum computers process information using quantum bits, or qubits, based on fragile, short-lived quantum mechanical states. To make qubits robust and tailor them for applications, researchers from the Department of Ene Read more…

Fortran: Still Compiling After All These Years

September 20, 2023

A recent article appearing in EDN (Electrical Design News) points out that on this day, September 20, 1954, the first Fortran program ran on a mainframe computer. Originally developed by IBM, Fortran (or FORmula TRANslat Read more…

Intel’s Gelsinger Lays Out Vision and Map at Innovation 2023 Conference

September 20, 2023

Intel’s sprawling, optimistic vision for the future was on full display yesterday in CEO Pat Gelsinger’s opening keynote at the Intel Innovation 2023 conference being held in San Jose. While technical details were sc Read more…

Intel Showcases “AI Everywhere” Strategy in MLPerf Inferencing v3.1

September 18, 2023

Intel used the latest MLPerf Inference (version 3.1) results as a platform to reinforce its developing “AI Everywhere” vision, which rests upon 4th gen Xeon CPUs and Gaudi2 (Habana) accelerators. Both fared well on t Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock 1679562793

How Maxar Builds Short Duration ‘Bursty’ HPC Workloads on AWS at Scale

Introduction

High performance computing (HPC) has been key to solving the most complex problems in every industry and has been steadily changing the way we work and live. Read more…

QCT Solution Channel

QCT and Intel Codeveloped QCT DevCloud Program to Jumpstart HPC and AI Development

Organizations and developers face a variety of issues in developing and testing HPC and AI applications. Challenges they face can range from simply having access to a wide variety of hardware, frameworks, and toolkits to time spent on installation, development, testing, and troubleshooting which can lead to increases in cost. Read more…

Survey: Majority of US Workers Are Already Using Generative AI Tools, But Company Policies Trail Behind

September 18, 2023

A new survey from the Conference Board indicates that More than half of US employees are already using generative AI tools, at least occasionally, to accomplish work-related tasks. Yet some three-quarters of companies st Read more…

Watsonx Brings AI Visibility to Banking Systems

September 21, 2023

A new set of AI-based code conversion tools is available with IBM watsonx. Before introducing the new "watsonx," let's talk about the previous generation Watson Read more…

Intel’s Gelsinger Lays Out Vision and Map at Innovation 2023 Conference

September 20, 2023

Intel’s sprawling, optimistic vision for the future was on full display yesterday in CEO Pat Gelsinger’s opening keynote at the Intel Innovation 2023 confer Read more…

Intel Showcases “AI Everywhere” Strategy in MLPerf Inferencing v3.1

September 18, 2023

Intel used the latest MLPerf Inference (version 3.1) results as a platform to reinforce its developing “AI Everywhere” vision, which rests upon 4th gen Xeon Read more…

China’s Quiet Journey into Exascale Computing

September 17, 2023

As reported in the South China Morning Post HPC pioneer Jack Dongarra mentioned the lack of benchmarks from recent HPC systems built by China. “It’s a we Read more…

Nvidia Releasing Open-Source Optimized Tensor RT-LLM Runtime with Commercial Foundational AI Models to Follow Later This Year

September 14, 2023

Nvidia's large-language models will become generally available later this year, the company confirmed. Organizations widely rely on Nvidia's graphics process Read more…

MLPerf Releases Latest Inference Results and New Storage Benchmark

September 13, 2023

MLCommons this week issued the results of its latest MLPerf Inference (v3.1) benchmark exercise. Nvidia was again the top performing accelerator, but Intel (Xeo Read more…

Need Some H100 GPUs? Nvidia is Listening

September 12, 2023

During a recent earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world's richest man, summed up the shortage of Nvidia enterprise GPUs in a few sentences.  "We're us Read more…

Intel Getting Squeezed and Benefiting from Nvidia GPU Shortages

September 10, 2023

The shortage of Nvidia's GPUs has customers searching for scrap heap to kickstart makeshift AI projects, and Intel is benefitting from it. Customers seeking qui Read more…

CORNELL I-WAY DEMONSTRATION PITS PARASITE AGAINST VICTIM

October 6, 1995

Ithaca, NY --Visitors to this year's Supercomputing '95 (SC'95) conference will witness a life-and-death struggle between parasite and victim, using virtual Read more…

SGI POWERS VIRTUAL OPERATING ROOM USED IN SURGEON TRAINING

October 6, 1995

Surgery simulations to date have largely been created through the development of dedicated applications requiring considerable programming and computer graphi Read more…

U.S. Will Relax Export Restrictions on Supercomputers

October 6, 1995

New York, NY -- U.S. President Bill Clinton has announced that he will definitely relax restrictions on exports of high-performance computers, giving a boost Read more…

Dutch HPC Center Will Have 20 GFlop, 76-Node SP2 Online by 1996

October 6, 1995

Amsterdam, the Netherlands -- SARA, (Stichting Academisch Rekencentrum Amsterdam), Academic Computing Services of Amsterdam recently announced that it has pur Read more…

Cray Delivers J916 Compact Supercomputer to Solvay Chemical

October 6, 1995

Eagan, Minn. -- Cray Research Inc. has delivered a Cray J916 low-cost compact supercomputer and Cray's UniChem client/server computational chemistry software Read more…

NEC Laboratory Reviews First Year of Cooperative Projects

October 6, 1995

Sankt Augustin, Germany -- NEC C&C (Computers and Communication) Research Laboratory at the GMD Technopark has wrapped up its first year of operation. Read more…

Sun and Sybase Say SQL Server 11 Benchmarks at 4544.60 tpmC

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Sybase, Inc. recently announced the first benchmark results for SQL Server 11. The result represents a n Read more…

New Study Says Parallel Processing Market Will Reach $14B in 1999

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- A study by the Palo Alto Management Group (PAMG) indicates the market for parallel processing systems will increase at more than 4 Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

CORNELL I-WAY DEMONSTRATION PITS PARASITE AGAINST VICTIM

October 6, 1995

Ithaca, NY --Visitors to this year's Supercomputing '95 (SC'95) conference will witness a life-and-death struggle between parasite and victim, using virtual Read more…

SGI POWERS VIRTUAL OPERATING ROOM USED IN SURGEON TRAINING

October 6, 1995

Surgery simulations to date have largely been created through the development of dedicated applications requiring considerable programming and computer graphi Read more…

U.S. Will Relax Export Restrictions on Supercomputers

October 6, 1995

New York, NY -- U.S. President Bill Clinton has announced that he will definitely relax restrictions on exports of high-performance computers, giving a boost Read more…

Dutch HPC Center Will Have 20 GFlop, 76-Node SP2 Online by 1996

October 6, 1995

Amsterdam, the Netherlands -- SARA, (Stichting Academisch Rekencentrum Amsterdam), Academic Computing Services of Amsterdam recently announced that it has pur Read more…

Cray Delivers J916 Compact Supercomputer to Solvay Chemical

October 6, 1995

Eagan, Minn. -- Cray Research Inc. has delivered a Cray J916 low-cost compact supercomputer and Cray's UniChem client/server computational chemistry software Read more…

NEC Laboratory Reviews First Year of Cooperative Projects

October 6, 1995

Sankt Augustin, Germany -- NEC C&C (Computers and Communication) Research Laboratory at the GMD Technopark has wrapped up its first year of operation. Read more…

Sun and Sybase Say SQL Server 11 Benchmarks at 4544.60 tpmC

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Sybase, Inc. recently announced the first benchmark results for SQL Server 11. The result represents a n Read more…

New Study Says Parallel Processing Market Will Reach $14B in 1999

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- A study by the Palo Alto Management Group (PAMG) indicates the market for parallel processing systems will increase at more than 4 Read more…

ISC 2023 Booth Videos

Cornelis Networks @ ISC23
Dell Technologies @ ISC23
Intel @ ISC23
Lenovo @ ISC23
Microsoft @ ISC23
ISC23 Playlist
  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire