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Tech Focus: Networking

Data centre networking

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The choice to develop a bespoke system or use an end-to-end solution to support scientific research projects depends on workloads, scale and budget. There are many ways to solve these challenges, but the answer for each organisation will depend on the scale of the challenge and the demand for latency, which inevitably drives the cost of deployment.

As the demand for better performance leads to more highly parallel solutions and data-intensive computing systems, networking technology is becoming increasingly important in supporting sustained application performance.

Networking companies provide high-speed access to data, which can support high throughput workloads. While the main networking technologies used in HPC are based on either Ethernet or InfinBand, there are also other technologies that use PCI-Express to develop networking fabrics to support other ultra-low latency, high-bandwidth workloads. This is generally based on the use of high-speed, real-time systems, clustered databases, general networking, web services and industrial-embedded applications. 

With the increasing use of AI used in scientific computing, there is a growth in the number of users that require high-speed networking to support research outcomes. These scientists are turning to networking technology providers to support their use of advanced computing infrastructure.

Networking products on the market now

Ayar Labs is disrupting the traditional performance, cost and efficiency curves of the semiconductor and computing industries by delivering up to a 1,000x improvement in interconnect bandwidth density at one-tenth of the power. They use standard CMOS processing to develop high-speed, high-density, low-power optical interconnect ‘chiplets’ and lasers to replace traditional electrical I/O. 

DustPhotonics develops and provides a technology platform for end-to-end Silicon Photonics solutions, addressing the constantly growing needs of hyper-growth data players. Our technology solutions facilitate high-volume manufacturing, which enables true scalability.

The company’s technology platform is uniquely built to support the optical networking markets that require higher bandwidth and higher speeds while lowering cost, as well as power consumption.

The DustPhotonics CARMEL Product Family supports 400Gb/s and 800Gb/s applications with 400Gb/s DR4 Transmit Photonics IC with integrated laser (TOSA). CARMEL8 delivers 800Gb/s DR8 Transmit Photonics IC with integrated laser - scalable to 1.6 Tb/s. 

Eoptolink is dedicated to researching, developing and manufacturing, and markets a diverse portfolio of high-performance, optical transceiver modules and optical components for various ICT applications, such as data centre, telecom networks (FTTx, LTE and transmission), security monitoring and smart grid. Eoptolink is a manufacturer of high-speed optical transceivers. At the heart of the operation is an R&D team that continuously pushes the boundaries of technological advancement to help shape the industry. 

Founded as a spin-off from the University of Heidelberg in 2011, EXTOLL is a company that delivers products to the high-performance interconnect IP market. Initially active only in the high-performance computing market (specifically networks for HPC), EXTOLL became a semiconductor IP company with early market success in communication, space, industrial and automotive markets.

GigaIO provides a rack-scale composable infrastructure solution that delivers the unlimited flexibility and agility of the cloud, at a fraction of the cost. GigaIO is committed

to open standards and a contributing member to Linux, to the PCIe standard, and to the CXL consortium. It can orchestrate Any compute, acceleration (CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, ASICs), storage, memory (3D-XPoint) or networking resource for any workload using an Enterprise- Class, Easy-To-Use and Open Standards high-performance network. It can deploy, expand, reduce or replace all rack resources dynamically in real-time, and fully automate on-premise bare-metal cloud-class infrastructure, delivering higher throughput at a fraction of the cost.

GigaIO’s FabreX technology creates a flexible, performant architecture for your dynamically changing workloads, combining sub-microsecond latency and high-bandwidth networking between all resources and servers in HPC systems. With the pervasive use of AI across industries, enterprise data centres carry a large number of vital services. Huawei CloudFabric 2.0 solution provides customers with a next-generation data centre network that delivers super capacity, intelligent experience and autonomous driving, helping enterprises mine intelligence from data, accelerate digital transformation and promote the development of the digital economy.

LDA Technologies provides FPGA-oriented solutions optimised for ultra-low latency  operation, targeted for data processing acceleration, high-performance computing, low-latency networking, and high-frequency trading. 

LDA products range from small add-on cards to 4U HPC devices. In addition, LDA offers a broad set of specialised industry-oriented solutions and standalone, ultra-low latency networking IP cores that can be used as part of users’ FPGA logic. LDA also offers consultancy services. Easily provision and manage powerful AI applications with the Nvidia Spectrum-X networking platform. Powered by the tight coupling of the Nvidia Spectrum-4 Ethernet

switch and the Nvidia BlueField-3 data processing unit (DPU), Spectrum-X delivers the highest performance for AI, machine learning, and natural language processing, as well as diverse industry applications.

Nvidia’s accelerated networking solutions offer the choice of InfiniBand and Ethernet, giving enterprises the infrastructure that supports develop-to-deploy implementations across all modern workloads and storage requirements that enable a new era of accelerated computing to maximise AI investments. 

Dolphin Interconnect Solutions products are used to connect multiple computers and IO systems together to create high performance computing platforms for demanding applications. Application clusters created using Dolphin’s interconnect products provide significant improvements in response time and transaction throughput compared to using alternative interconnect technologies.

The Ethernet Alliance is a global, non-profit industry consortium of member organisations that are dedicated to the continued success and advancement of Ethernet technologies. To help advance the industry as a whole, the Ethernet Alliance also provides the industry with a forum for the open exchange of ideas and dialogue and a platform for consensus-building. It follows strict impartiality guidelines to encourage productive discourse and idea-sharing. This in turn, increases the growth, advancement and adoption of Ethernet technology worldwide.

HPE Slingshot is a high-performance network for HPE Cray supercomputers designed for exascale-era supercomputing of diverse simulation, modelling, AI and analytics workloads on one system. Ethernet compatible, HPE Slingshot enables straightforward execution of cloudlike and converged workloads in a supercomputing environment.


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