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Users Bang InfiniBand Drum

High-bandwidth, low-latency interconnect continues to chip away at Gigabit Ethernet

More and more users are now opting for InfiniBand as a high-bandwidth, low-latency data center interconnect, according to the latest Top 500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, which was released today. (See InfiniBand Boasts Growth.)

InfiniBand is the fastest-growing technology on the list, accounting for 127 of the fastest systems in the world, up from 78 in last November's list and 35 in the June 2006 survey. (See InfiniBand Take 2 and SGI Surges in HPC.)

This upward trajectory is matched by uptake of 20-Gbit/s InfiniBand, with the technology accounting for 55 systems on the list, up from zero this time last year. (See Ethernet Enlarges Supercomputing and IBM Dominates T0P500.) Increasingly, vendors such as Mellanox and Voltaire are touting 20-Gbit/s InfiniBand as an ideal fit for multi-core sytems that impose high demands on bandwidth. (See Voltaire Adds to 20-Gig Portfolio, Mellanox Boasts 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, and Mellanox Ships InfiniBand.)

Despite a strong showing from InifiniBand, Gigabit Ethernet remains the most widely used interconnect on the list, which is again headed by the Department of Energy (DOE)'s IBM Blue Gene/L system at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). (See DOE Launches Storage Effort, Livermore Clusters Voltaire, and Livermore Taps Clustering.)

Some 207 systems on the list still use Gigabit Ethernet, down slightly from 211 last November and 256 this time last year.

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