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Intel's Omni-Path InfiniBand-killer debuts at sizzling 100 Gb/sec

Scalable System Framework promises cheaper, denser, cooler networks

SC15 Intel's putative InfiniBand-killer Omni-Path has been revealed as the centrepiece of the enhanced Scalable System Framework (SSF) announced at the Supercomputer 15 conference (SC15) in Texas.

First announced at the pitch for the American government's HPC “Coral concept”, under which the industry is asked to deliver a 180 petaflop super by 2018, the SSF has attracted names like Cray, Dell, Fujitsu, HPE, Lenovo, SGI, Penguin Computing and Supermicro.

For Omni-Path fans, the SSF product set includes a 48 port switch that Chipzilla says supports 26 per cent more servers than an equivalent-cost InfiniBand solution, with 60 per cent lower power consumption, 17 per cent lower latency, and a 7 per cent improvement in messaging rate.

Volume shipments of Omni-Path are set for early 2016, the company says, and not only from Intel: the same list of partners are starting to make their own announcements, both in switches and server platforms.

Over at The Register's sibling publication The Next Platform, Intel's Charles Wuischpard, general manager of the HPC Platform Group within Intel’s Data Center Group says Omni-Path is “a 100 Gb/sec solution that is tuned for true application performance, and when we talk about performance, we are really talking about the performance of the application in a parallel fashion.”

HPC-class Knights Landing chips – official name, Intel Xeon Phi – are now in sampling. Cray has systems running in pre-deployment prep mode for Los Alamos' Trinity system and America's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Cori system; Atos has put together a system for France's Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, and Penguin Computing has fired up a system for the Sandia National Laboratories.

The Next Platform goes into detail of the Knights Landing-based systems here.

Intel's Lustre file system has also been tipped into the SSF, with foundation, enterprise and cloud editions due by year-end.

Intel is also tossing its hat in the ring with the Linux Foundation's brand-new OpenHPC Collaborative Project, also launched at SC15. ®

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