Ethernet Breakthrough Demonstrated

Published on Sunday, 01 April 2007 10:42
Written by Dan Stanzione
Hits: 6411

From the Ethernet rules the day, department

We are pleased to announce the new software package developed by a team of Cluster Monkey researchers including Robert Brown, Jeff Layton, and Douglas Eadine. The project was sponsored by the Beowulf Legacy Enhanced Ethernet Project (BLEEP). The results of the these efforts is a new software package called Geyser™ that will be available for Linux later this month. By substituting the Geyser™ drivers in the Linux Kernel, a standard Ethernet card can transmit at more than double the standard Gigabit Ethernet rate. Moreover the single bit latencies are less then one microsecond. Please read the theoretical background to fully understand this report.

The driver is open source and will be available later this month after the patent is issued. Using a combination of mathematical filtering and artificial intelligence the Geyser™ drivers allow a standard Ethernet card to achieve rates that now are making many question the need for Infiniband or 10-GigE. The following results indicate the level of performance:

single bit latency .5 microseconds
maximum throughput 2143 Mbits/second

According to lead developer Douglas Eadline, the drivers work as follows. "As we all know computers transmit in binary. So when a packet is sent from one computer to another there is a series of ones and zeros. Our driver applies a Riemann filter to the stream and then uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict the next bits in the sequence. As the interconnect learns about your communication pattern it becomes faster each time you send data. The maximum we have achieved is 2143 Mbits/second on standard Ethernet cards, but with proper training, I believe it could go as high as 5000 Mbits/second."

Co-inventor Jeff Layton commented as well, "Doug and I have worked on this for three years. There were many people who told us we were crazy, but we just decided to try it and see what happened. It is a good thing we did not listen to the detractors, what the BLEEP did they know".

Finally, co-inventor Robert Brown has this to say "First, let me say, Doug and Jeff really delivered. When they first described it too me I thought they were crazy. When I finally understood the technology, I jumped in to write the documentation. Here is the interesting part, once I finished the 4 GByte doc file, I sent it to both Doug and Jeff using the new Geyser™ drivers. At that stage, the Geyser™ drivers were still learning, but the second time I sent the exact same file, it was delivered in half the time. Then on April first of this year, I sent it for a third time, it took less than 30 seconds for the exact same file! Finally, I changed a single typo and resent the file. As expected it showed up at normal Gigabit speeds as the drivers began to learn about the file, but the next time I sent the exact same file, it arrived in half the time. Amazing!"

Update: Jeff Squyres also wanted everyone to know there will be an Open MPI - Geyser™ port finished in May.

Check back later this month for more news on our breakthrough!

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