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Intel offers 56Gbit/s Infiniband on Xeon E5 server motherboards

When 40Gbit/s is not enough
Mon Jun 11 2012, 15:03

INTERCONNECT VENDOR Mellanox has announced it picked up business from Intel after the chipmaker decided to stick Mellanox's Connectx-3 FDR 56Gbit/s Infiniband adapter into two of its server motherboards.

Intel's server motherboards are often used as reference designs and are seen as the benchmark for stablity. Now they will also have some of the fastest interconnect chips around. Mellanox's Connectx-3 FDR Infiniband adapter has been chosen by Intel for use in its I/O expansion modules on half-width motherboards for blade servers.

As Intel's Server Board S2600WP and Server Board S2600JF are half width motherboards, the firm ships expansion boards for more exotic connectivity options. Intel showed off a number of half width motherboards at the Xeon E5 launch back in March, however the only connectivity options at the time were thought to be 40Gbit/s Infiniband or Ethernet.

Mellanox's Connectx-3 Infiniband adaptor is worthy of mention because, unlike most Infiniband implementations offering 40Gbit/s, it supports 56Gbit/s bandwidth. Intel, like all server vendors, is interested in greater interconnect bandwidth for both high performance computing (HPC) and cloud deployments.

David Barzilai, VP of marketing at Mellanox Technologies said, "Intel's deployment of Mellanox Infiniband silicon is a testament to the high performance and efficiency of our solutions. Server and storage OEMs looking to roll out faster and more powerful systems will maximize their products' potential with Mellanox Infiniband solutions."

Mellanox did not mention pricing for its standalone Connectx-3 cards or Intel's I/O expansion boards, but in the world of HPC acquisition prices take a backseat to energy consumption costs. µ


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