Interview: Hot Interconnects Conference Heats up in Santa Clara August 22-24

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The system interconnect space has been heating up recently with recent moves by Intel, Huawei, and the DoE FastForward program. To get the latest, I caught up with NCSA’s Torsten Hoefler, the program chair of the upcoming Hot Interconnects (HOTI) 2012.

insideHPC: What distinguishes HOTI from other conferences in the field?

Torsten Hoefler: HOTI is the premier conference for news in high performance interconnects. It has a good mix of strong industry and academia presence. HOTI is usually the place where details about new networking technologies are presented first. In the last years, we discussed the Cray Gemini, Blue Gene/Q, PERCS, Tianhe-1A, and K computer networks. This year, we will learn about the uRiKA and Aries networks from Cray IBM’s new optical on chip technology.

insideHPC: That sounds like an interesting program. So what are the highlight presentation this year?

Torsten Hoefler: It’s hard to pick since all presentations will be excellent. Our keynote speakers, John Roese from Huawei, Bob Alverson from Cray, Fuad Doany from IBM, and Nick McKeown from Stanford will cover newest
developments in various topics such as high-performance cloud networking, densely connected HPC networks with mixed optical and electrical links, on-chip optical networking, and software-defined networks. Each of those talks will be loaded with newest information that will be hard to acquire elsewhere.

insideHPC: What about the remaining program?

Torsten Hoefler: As usual, we have excellent paper presentations by researchers from different domains ranging from switch hardware to high-frequency trading. We also also have several interesting invited talks. Mike Watts from MIT will provide an overview about silicon photonics, Ron Brightwell from Sandia National Laboratories will talk about interconnect co-design, and last but no least, Radia Perlman, the “Mother of the Internet” from Intel will share her insight into architectural metrics.

insideHPC: Do you also have other events?

Torsten Hoefler: Well, there is the cocktail reception where experts mingle :-). No, seriously, our two panels feature world-experts who will discuss the recent technology changes. The evening panel will entertain with different opinions whether networking will move completely into the CPU socket or not. The industry panel will recapitulate different views on software-defined networking (SDN). We expect lively discussions between panelists and the audience! In addition, we offer our traditional tutorial day with four strong tutorials on cloud and datacenter networking and the recurring topic of software-defined networking. We are again looking at a very strong conference.

insideHPC: So what are the conference details?

Torsten Hoefler: Hot Interconnects will take place from August 22-24th in Santa Clara, generously hosted by Huawei North America. You still have 10 days to save up to $200 on early registration (closing August 10th). But even after that, full on-site registration will be available for late deciders. You can find the full program at See you all on Santa Clara!