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Unformatted text preview: Mellanox Technologies Inc. 2900 Stender Way, Santa Clara, CA 95054 Tel: 408-970-3400 Fax: 408-970-3403 www.mellanox.com 1 White Paper Document Number 2003WP Mellanox Technologies Inc Rev 1.90 Introduction to InfiniBand ™ Executive Summary InfiniBand is a powerful new architecture designed to support I/O connectivity for the Internet infrastructure. InfiniBand is supported by all the major OEM server vendors as a means to expand beyond and create the next generation I/O interconnect standard in servers. For the first time, a high volume, industry standard I/O interconnect extends the role of traditional “in the box” busses. InfiniBand is unique in providing both, an “in the box” backplane solution, an external interconnect, and “Bandwidth Out of the box”, thus it provides connectivity in a way pre- viously reserved only for traditional networking interconnects. This unification of I/O and system area networking requires a new architecture that supports the needs of these two previously sepa- rate domains. Underlying this major I/O transition is InfiniBand’s ability to support the Internet’s requirement for RAS: reliability, availability, and serviceability. This white paper discusses the features and capabilities which demonstrate InfiniBand’s superior abilities to support RAS relative to the leg- acy PCI bus and other proprietary switch fabric and I/O solutions. Further, it provides an over- view of how the InfiniBand architecture supports a comprehensive silicon, software, and system solution. The comprehensive nature of the architecture is illustrated by providing an overview of the major sections of the InfiniBand 1.1 specification. The scope of the 1.1 specification ranges from industry standard electrical interfaces and mechanical connectors to well defined software and management interfaces. The paper is divided into four sections. The introduction sets the stage for InfiniBand and illustrates why all the major server vendors have made the decision to embrace this new standard. The next section reviews the effect Infini- Band will have on various markets that are currently being addressed by legacy technologies. The third section provides a comparison between switch fabrics and bus architecture in general and then delves into details comparing InfiniBand to PCI and other proprietary solutions. The final section goes into details about the architecture, reviewing at a high level the most important fea- tures of InfiniBand. Introduction to InfiniBand™ 2 Mellanox Technologies Inc Rev 1.90 1.0 Introduction Amdahl’s Law is one of the fundamental principles of computer science and basically states that efficient systems must provide a balance between CPU performance, memory bandwidth, and I/O performance. At odds with this, is Moore’s Law which has accurately predicted that semiconduc- tors double their performance roughly every 18 months. Since I/O interconnects are governed by mechanical and electrical limitations more severe than the scaling capabilities of semiconductors,...
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- Fall '07
- PCI Express, InfiniBand, InfiniBand Architecture, InfiniBand Technical Overview, Mellanox Technologies