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Intel Achieves InfiniBand Milestone
Date: Monday January 29, 2001
Category: Web News
Manufacturer Link: Intel
Intel Corporation today announced it is shipping samples of its InfiniBand(a) silicon and software products...

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 29, 2001 - Intel Corporation today announced it is shipping samples of its InfiniBand* silicon and software products, critical components that will help implement the InfiniBand I/O industry specification and enable a key advance in Internet servers.

The InfiniBand architecture is a new I/O infrastructure technology that simplifies and speeds server-to-server connections and links to other server-related systems such as remote storage and networking devices. InfiniBand architecture's easier connectivity, reduced latency, improved bandwidth and enhanced interoperability features increase the performance, reliability and scalability of Intel Architecture-based (IA) servers to meet the growth needs of emerging e-Business data centers, service providers and server farms. Components of the InfiniBand architecture are expected to be commercially released later this year, with InfiniBand-enabled systems expected in late 2001.

InfiniBand technology is considered a key element to building a next-generation, high-performance, highly reliable, low-cost server infrastructure. InfiniBand products provide users with scalable throughput via high-performance 2.5 Gb/s links that can be combined to create large InfiniBand fabrics.

The new Intel® InfiniBand products will be used with future IA-32 and upcoming Itanium™ -based server platforms. As the first vendor to provide samples to leading server OEMs such as Compaq and IBM Corp., switch vendors such as QLogic and Crossroads, and storage vendors such as Adaptec and LSI Storage Systems, Intel hopes to accelerate widespread adoption. Intel's InfiniBand suite of products includes the three critical components for an InfiniBand fabric:

  • Intel's InfiniBand Host Channel Adapter connects servers into a broad InfiniBand "fabric" within Internet and business data centers.
  • Intel's InfiniBand Switch serves as the center of an InfiniBand fabric and connects servers to remote storage and networking devices.
  • Intel's InfiniBand Target Channel Adapter provides the connection to storage and/or networking devices within an InfiniBand fabric.

"In the Internet server space, the ability to scale capacity and improve response time are two key competitive advantages, which InfiniBand will supply," said Philip Brace, director of product marketing for Intel's Enterprise Platform Group. "InfiniBand fabrics will deliver to the industry a significant increase in available I/O bandwidth. Intel's delivery of the first product samples to its customers is an important milestone for the industry and for Intel."

"As a founding member of the InfiniBand Trade Association, we believe that the InfiniBand architecture offers new opportunities for industry-standard servers to meet the increasing demands of Internet data centers," said Paul Santeler, vice president of servers, Compaq Industry Standard Server Group. "Compaq is committed to bringing leading InfiniBand solutions to market. As part of our effort to jump-start development, we have worked with Intel to bring initial systems on-line and begin the validation process."

"It's great to see the first InfiniBand hardware and software just months after the completion of the InfiniBand 1.0 specification," said Dr. Tom Bradicich, director, Architecture and Technology, IBM eServers xSeries. "These building blocks from Intel will hasten the development of InfiniBand solutions, providing reliable, low-latency I/O interconnections that are economically scalable. Affordable enterprise capability, coupled with the industry-standard server platform, is a powerful combination for end users."

Intel is one of seven founding companies of the InfiniBand Trade Association, including Compaq, IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, aiming to develop a new common I/O specification to deliver a channel-based, switched fabric technology that the entire industry can adopt. To generate broad, industry-wide implementation of an InfiniBand infrastructure, Intel and other key information technology system suppliers are developing a variety of building blocks to support servers, switches, software and connections between storage and networking devices within an InfiniBand fabric. More than 200 companies have joined the InfiniBand Trade Association since its launch in 1999.

More details about Intel's suite of Infiniband products and industry enabling efforts will be available at the Intel Developer Forum, Feb. 27 - Mar. 1 at the San Jose Convention Center.

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