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GEN-Z: An Overview and Use Cases

In this video from the OpenFabrics Workshop, Greg Casey from Dell EMC presents: GEN-Z: An Overview and Use Cases.

“This session will focus on the new Gen-Z memory-semantic fabric. The speaker will show the audience why Gen-Z is needed, how Gen-Z operates, what is expected in first products that employ Gen-Z, and encourage participation in finalizing the Gen-Z specifications. Gen-Z will be connecting components inside of servers as well as connecting servers with pools of memory, storage, and acceleration devices through a switch environment.”

The Gen-Z Consortium is an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today’s bottlenecks.

Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.

Gen-Z provides the following benefits:

  • High Bandwidth, Low Latency: Simplified interface based on memory
    semantics, scalable from tens to several hundred GB/s of bandwidth, with sub-100 ns load-to-use memory latency.
  • Advanced Workloads and Technologies: Enables data centric computing with scalable memory pools and resources for real-time analytics and in-memory applications. Accelerates new memory and storage innovation.
  • Compatible and Economical: Highly software compatible with no required changes to the operating system. Scales from simple, low cost connectivity to highly capable, rack scale interconnect.

The Gen-Z Consortium, established by current board members AMD, ARM, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx, is an open, non-proprietary, transparent industry standards body. The consortium reflects a broader industry trend that recognizes the importance of open standards and their role in providing a level playing field to promote adoption, innovation and choice.

See more talks in the OpenFabrics Workshop Video Gallery

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