[Beowulf] thunderbolt?

Jonathan Dursi ljdursi at scinet.utoronto.ca
Fri Feb 25 07:07:05 PST 2011

On 2011-02-25, at 9:56AM, Ellis H. Wilson III wrote:
> I guess I'm lost on why this would be really useful, especially from a
> beowulfery perspective.  It's not like any sane Beowulfer would pay a
> premium for Macs just to have this interconnect when they could just get
> some old IB hardware.

It's not an Apple thing, it's an Intel thing; presumably it'll be 
rolled out on PC hardware soon enough too (and I think if this had
first been introduced on (say) Dell boxes we wouldn't be seeing the 
knee-jerk skepticism from some corners that we are.)  It looks like
it comes built into the chipsets, eg, you wouldn't need a separate 
"thunderbolt" board.  

Whether it scales up remains to be seen, of course, but hooking up 
a bunch of machines to something approximating a shared PCIe bus 
with no additional hardware seems like it could be genuinely 
interesting, if it works like that.   If not, well hey, it's a fast adapter
bus, and faster data transfer is good, even if just to peripherals.

   - Jonathan
Jonathan Dursi <ljdursi at scinet.utoronto.ca>  SciNet, Compute/Calcul Canada

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