In a good way, we think

Intel has recently announced a new Ethernet Open Network Platform that splits ("disaggregates") the control plane from the data plane and provides users the ability to control network aspects that were previously hidden "inside the box." The idea is to create global control of large networks, rather than relying on local switches. The control processors are of course of Intel x86 variety. There is an SDK called the Data Plane Development Kit (includes kernel by-pass tools) so that users can twiddle with the network design at a low level.

Don't expect to see products right away, but these are open reference designs offered by Intel. They may offer some interesting options that allow networks designed and tuned for HPC. There is a good in-depth write-up at SemiAccurate.

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