Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Super interconnects

IBM told me yesterday its Power7 processor to be used in a 2010 supercomputer commissioned for the DARPA HPCS program will integrate interconnect on the CPU—-but they won't say which interconnect, yet.

Separately, Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee tells me the new benchmarks for supercomputer productivity can be used to isolate and measure the impact of good interconnects. He looked at big systems that used the same x86 CPUs but different interconnects and found Cray's SeaStar provided tons of system bandwidth not available on systems using Gbit Ethernet as an interconnect.

No one has measured the relative pluses and minuses of Infiniband, Myrinet and Quadrics yet. But there are benchmarks for some 137 systems online now, so the analysis is waiting to be done. Please do it, and come back to me here with a posting about the results! –rbm

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interconnects