Today, high performance interconnects can be divided into three categories: Ethernet, InfiniBand, and vendor specific interconnects. Ethernet is established as the dominant low level interconnect standard for mainstream commercial computing requirements. InfiniBand originated in 1999 to specifically address workload requirements that were not adequately addressed by Ethernet, and vendor specific technologies frequently have a time to market (and therefore performance) advantage over standardized offerings.
A survey conducted by insideHPC and Gabriel Consulting in Q4 of 2105 indicated that nearly 45% of HPC and large enterprise customers would spend more on system interconnects and I/O in 2016, with 40% maintaining spending at the same level as the prior year. For manufacturing, the largest subset representing approximately one third of the respondents, over 60% were planning to spend more and almost 30% maintaining the same level of spending going into 2016 implying the critical value of high performance interconnects.
The high performance networking interconnect landscape is in transition. InfiniBand and Intel Omni-Path will compete for the performance crown, while Ethernet will remain the ubiquitous standard for commercially oriented systems