[Beowulf] Intel buys QLogic InfiniBand business

Greg Lindahl lindahl at pbm.com
Fri Jan 27 17:13:12 EST 2012


On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 11:29:35AM -0800, Håkon Bugge wrote:

> That can explain why QLogic is selling, but not why Intel is buying.

That's right. This was probably bought, not sold. If you look at the
press release Intel put out, it's all about Exascale computing.

http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2012/01/23/intel-takes-key-step-in-accelerating-high-performance-computing-with-infiniband-acquisition

If you want to put an IB HCA in a CPU or a {north,south}bridge,
TrueScale nee InfiniPath is a much smaller implementation than others,
and most of the chip is memory, which Intel knows how to shrink
drastically compared to the usual way people implement memory.

Also, keep in mind that Intel's benchmarking group in Moscow has a lot
of experience with benchmarking real apps for bids using TrueScale
head-to-head against other HCAs, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was
the case that TrueScale QDR is faster than that other company's FDR on
many real codes, for the usual reason that TrueScale's MPI-oriented
InfiniBand extension is more suited for MPI than the standard
InfiniBand has-more-features-than-MPI-requires protocols.

Finally, I haven't seen it mentioned whether or not QLogic's IB switch
was part of the purchase. If it is, then you should note that it's not
hard to make that chip speak ethernet, and Intel could probably
dramatically improve it with their superior serdes technology.

-- greg


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