[Beowulf] fast interconnects

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri May 19 08:49:19 PDT 2006

Hey folks.
Just got back from a High Speed Digital Interconnection Workshop and some 
stuff of interest to cluster'ites..

a) There's likely to be 10Gbps ethernet over ordinary cat 5e/6 cabling 
soon. (Solarflare is one company working on it)
b) There's some interesting work from companies like Fulcrum on very fast 
switches using asynchronous logic. Several vendors are pushing to get (very 
fast) Ethernet used as a replacement for processor/processor interconnects 
and to replace things like Fiberchannel for I/O.  They have an architecture 
that essentially routes with zero copy inside the switch.  I can't remember 
the latency for the switch, but it's down in the hundreds of nanoseconds area.
c) for high speeds, circuit switching is where it's at, rather than classic 
store and forward packet switching.

James Lux, P.E.
Spacecraft Radio Frequency Subsystems Group
Flight Communications Systems Section
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Mail Stop 161-213
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
tel: (818)354-2075
fax: (818)393-6875

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