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Infiniband and Exascale. An interview with Gilad Shainer, Mellanox

The Exascale Report: InfiniBand for Exascale – do you see an option for Exascale computing to use InfiniBand?

Shainer: InfiniBand was designed to be a high-performance, low-latency, and efficient solution for connecting servers and storage. InfiniBand is a standard interconnect with specifications continually developed by the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA). One of its advantages is the rapid development of the specification to adjust to new demands and new developments around high-performance computing technologies. As a proof point, we see new bandwidth speeds produced by the InfiniBand vendors every 2-3 years. The time from specification-to-product is small and this enables InfiniBand to become a leading solution in the HPC arena. On the TOP500 supercomputers list, InfiniBand connects 61% of the top 100 systems and 5 of the 10 sustain Petaflop performance. One of the goals of the IBTA is to pave the road to Exascale by delivering constant improvements for performance, scalability and reliability within the network. InfiniBand delivers capabilities today that are superior to other technologies, both proprietary and standard, and it does it in the most efficient and economical way. One of the most important items for Exascale, besides the performance of course, will be the affordability. We need to have economical solutions for the Exascale machines.

TER: Paving the road to Exascale is a great theme – but what has been done at the InfiniBand specification level to actually fulfill this promise?

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