[Beowulf] Intel buys QLogic InfiniBand business

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Mon Jan 23 18:24:15 EST 2012


On Jan 24, 2012, at 12:02 AM, Joshua mora acosta wrote:

> Do you mean IB over QPI ?
> Either way, High Node Count Coherence will be an issue.

Just ignore his statement - it's total nonsense.

Nanosecond latency of QPI using 2 rings versus something that has a  
latency up to factor 1000 slower
with the pci-e as the slowest delaying factor.

Doing cache coherency over that forget it.

 From what i understand a big problem at modern cpu's is the  
crossbar. At latest chip displayed,
the bulldozer, it's taking a significant amount of transistors.

If you confront that crossbar suddenly with latencies a a factor 4000  
slower, that's not gonna let it perform better
of course.


> In any case, by acquiring their IP it is a step forward towards SoC  
> (System on
> Chip). A preliminary step (building block) for the Exascale  
> strategy and for
> low cost enterprise/cloud solutions.

Not with intel. Intel sells fast equipment yet it has a huge price  
always,
about the opposite of infiniband which is a dirt cheap technology.

I guess we must see this much simpler. At such a giant as intel,  
paying a bit over 100 million is peanuts.
Probably less than what they would need to pay for royalties to a  
manufacturer owning a bunch of patents
in the ethernet NIC area; the HPC intel gets 'for free'.

Allows them to produce maybe a 10 gigabit ethernet NIC dirt cheap  
without needing to pay royalties to qlogic.
It will not be a big performer such 10 gigabit ethernet nic, yet  
price matters a lot of course when integrating. Every penny counts then.

What you typically see with intel is that for them the mass market is  
so important, read that's the 1 gigabit ethernet market right now,
that all other products suffer there, as they will give their mass  
market products always, of course, priority.

Itanium is a good example; it always was proces generations behind  
their main products. It never was given a fair chance to compete.

So where they win it with sandy bridge becasue it's soon a proces  
generation or 2 having the edge on AMD,
there intels other products suffer from this,as they don't get that  
proces technology.

meanwhile ethernet is total crucial to have low latency for the  
financial world, as they can make dozens of billions a year by being  
faster
than others at exchanges.

Now back to that mass market and integration of a good and especially  
cheap 10 gigabit nic into intels mainboards,
this buy might be pretty interesting to intel.

Yet that's a market so big, it has nothing to do with HPC i'd argue.

 From HPC viewpoint i wouldn't see this takeover as a threat to  
anyone in HPC,
i guess it basically means intel won't challenge for the crown in  
HPC, giving Mellanox monopoly for a while at FDR.

It's about ethernet i bet.

>
> Joshua
> ------ Original Message ------
> Received: 03:47 PM CST, 01/23/2012
> From: Prentice Bisbal <prentice at ias.edu>
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Intel buys QLogic InfiniBand business
>
>>
>> On 01/23/2012 04:19 PM, Mark Hahn wrote:
>>>>
> http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2012-01-23/ 
> intel_to_buy_qlogic_s_infiniband_business.html
>>> wonder what Intel's thinking - could do some very interesting stuff,
>>> but it would take a bit of charisma.  QPI-over-IB anyone?
>>
>> That's what I'm thinking!
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