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Voltaire Shows 288-Port InfiniBand Switch

The battle of the InfiniBand ports ratcheted up a notch this week, as Voltaire introduced a new 288-port switch to meet the growing needs of high-performance computing.

Each port in the Voltaire ISR 9288 has 10 Gbps of full bisectional bandwidth, and all 288 ports are contained in a single chassis, enabling users to create large high-performance clusters with fewer switching components. The 288-port configuration is a three-fold jump over the company's current 96-port switch.

Voltaire said the ISR 9288 design was developed on the basis of the needs of its high-end users. In a statement, Bill Boas, InfiniBand project leader at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said: "Larger port-count switches simplify design, scaling and management issues in architecting high-performance computing clusters for our users. With 288 ports in a single InfiniBand switch, we can foresee an important enabling step along the path toward a PetaFlop-level machine."

Other HPC users contributing input to Voltaire as it designed the switch included supercomputing centers at various U.S. Department of Energy installations, Mississippi State University, and the Ohio Supercomputer Center.

The ISR 9288 features scalable switching and multi-protocol connectivity in a single system. In addition to comprehensive management and diagnostics capabilities, the ISR 9288 switch hosts the firm's router blades, which enable seamless connectivity among server clusters, fibre channel SANS, NAS appliances, IP SANs, and TCP/IP networks of LANs. The company said the new switch will be available early in the third quarter.