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Quadrics Interconnect

With the increased importance of scalable system-area networks for clustered computers, web-server farms, and network-attached storage, the interconnection network and its associated software libraries and hardware have become critical components in achieving high performance. Such components will greatly impact the design, architecture, and use of the aforementioned systems in the future.

Key players in high-speed interconnects include Gigabit Ethernet (GigE), GigaNet, SCI, Myrinet, and HiPPI-6400/Gigabyte System Network. These interconnect solutions differ from one another with respect to their architecture, programmability, scalability, performance, and ease of integration into large-scale systems. While GigE resides at the low end of the performance spectrum, it provides a low-cost solution. GigaNet, GSN, Myrinet, and SCI add programmability and performance by providing communication processors on the network interface cards and implementing different types of user-level communication protocols.

We are currently engaged in a detailed performance evaluation of the QsNet ultra high bandwidth, low latency interconnect marketed by Quadrics Supercomputers World Ltd.. We have verified QsNet to achieve point-to-point data throughput of 335 MB/s with a 2 µsecond latency, while providing for fault detection and retransmission in hardware.

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