Now, this is interesting. Story at The Register
In the IT business, volume is everything. And when people talk about standardization, this is what they really mean. Liquid Computing – a company that entered the server space with such a big splash (and a very sophisticated design) – has learned this lesson the hard way. And with its second rev of products, the company has ditched its proprietary server interconnection scheme and adopted Ethernet.
The company’s IQInterconnect plugged into the AMD’s HyperTransport to create a box that could be configured and reconfigured on the fly. But, no more…this moves the company out of the HPC space and puts it in that broader server/low end HPC market where boxes are some things to everyone and therefore not really great at anything
According to Keith Miller, vice president of product management at the company, a proprietary architecture was suitable for the high performance computing customers that Liquid Computing was targeting. But if you want to run off-the-shelf Linux distros and Windows and sell to a broader market, you have to support some other networking scheme. Ethernet is the default commercial interconnection for servers the world over, even if it does not have many of the advantages of IQInterconnect, such as being able to couple SMP nodes tightly for 16 or 32 socket images.
The performance price was stiff
The Ethernet bandwidth, at 84 Gbit/sec for module-to-module links, is a lot less than the IQInterconnect, which offered 100 GB/sec of bandwidth between modules.