Mellanox Adapters Aid Multicore Processor Installations - InformationWeek

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Mellanox Adapters Aid Multicore Processor Installations

The advancements take the pressure off the host processors and allow for faster information transformation, the company said.

Hoping to capitalize on next-generation multiple-core processors and high-bandwidth memory subsystems, Mellanox Technologies on Monday unveiled 10- and 20-Gbps InfiniBand input/output adapters.

The company said the host channel adapter (HCA) ports connect to host processors -- such as a multicore Xeon processor made by Intel or an Opteron chip manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices -- through PCI Express x8 interfaces. The adapters feature increased TCP/IP application performance with integrated stateless-offload engines, such as ultralow 1-microsecond application latencies. The advancements allow the engines to take the pressure off the host processors from compute-intensive protocol state processing, Mellanox said. The adaptors also deliver support for virtual services endpoints and virtual address translation/DMA remapping, and facilitate native InfiniBand performance for applications running in virtual servers.

"Today's servers integrate multiple dual- and quad-core processors with high-bandwidth memory subsystems, yet the I/O limitations of Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel effectively degrades the system's overall performance," said Eyal Waldman, the company's chairman, president, and CEO, in a statement. "ConnectX 1B 10- and 20-Gbps InfiniBand adapters balance I/O performance with powerful multicore processors responsible for executing mission-critical functions."

Mellanox noted that the HCAs create virtualized services endpoints for virtual machines and service-oriented architecture deployments through what's known as Channel I/O Virtualization. The goal is to create virtualized provisioning of I/O services, including clustering, communications, storage, and management.

The HCAs are backward compatible with industry standards such as OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution and Microsoft WHQL-certified Windows InfiniBand protocol stacks, Mellanox said.

Users are beginning to voice concern over the need to eliminate bottlenecks in many high-performance computing applications, and Mellanox said the new HCAs will help alleviate many logjams in those situations.

"Extremely high volumes of concurrent users and increasingly complex transactions are making access to data one of the greatest bottlenecks to performance in grid computing," said Geva Perry, chief marketing officer of GigaSpaces. "ConnectX IB InfiniBand HCAs offer leading latency, throughput, and reliable performance that can help eliminate interconnect-related data latency degradations." GigaSpaces provides dynamic scalability for high-volume transactional applications.

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