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Mellanox Doubles InfiniBand

Mellanox Technologies Ltd. is set to announce adapters and chips that double InfiniBand's data rates. Starting at be next week's International Supercomputer Conference in Heidelberg, Germany, the 20- and 60-Gbit/s silicon will be offered to makers of fabric switches, grid server blades, storage gear, and networking devices for telecom and enterprise use. The vendor says pricing will be less than 30 percent over existing wares.

This is the first public annnouncement of InfiniBand double data rate (DDR) technology, a method of increasing InfiniBand speeds at the semiconductor level. Since Mellanox sells its InfiniBand silicon to a broad range of suppliers and OEMs, it could herald some interesting stuff.

Isilon Systems, for instance, offers optional InfiniBand connections, based on Mellanox technology, between its clustered storage systems (see Isilon Embraces InfiniBand). The vendor will add DDR as well. "We applaud Mellanox for driving this technology into the marketplace," says Brett Goodwin, VP of marketing and business development, in a prepared statement.

Isilon and other storage vendors with an eye on data-intensive markets such as oil and gas, media and entertainment, and healthcare, like DDR's prospect of doubling network connections to memory, thus increasing the links between clustered NAS. After all, with 20-Gbit/s between devices, who needs 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel?

Another -- albeit cryptic -- kudo comes from Engenio Information Technologies Inc.: "A 20-Gbit/s InfiniBand connection provides the highest performance available on a single industry standard I/O storage link," says Bret Weber, director of architecture at Engenio, in a prepared statement.

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