By Bill Magro and Eitan Zahavi
The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) has recently revised the InfiniBand Roadmap to reflect additions to the spec and now charts the expected availability of InfiniBand NDR solutions that are capable of up to 1.2Tb/s data rate.
The refreshed roadmap details 1x, 2x, 4x, and 12x port widths with bandwidths reaching 600Gb/s data rate HDR later this year and 1.2Tb/s data rate NDR in 2020. A notable update is the inclusion of 2x port widths starting with HDR, which highlights how higher lane data rates allow switches to increase port density. For example, with the introduction of HDR running nominally at 50Gb/s per lane 100Gb/s ports will only need two lanes which will double a switch’s port-count to achieve the same bandwidth. This roadmap update will be especially useful to IT professionals designing and deploying larger systems.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and similar applications continue to emerge and grow in popularity, ultra-low latency provided by RDMA will enable better throughput and greatly accelerate overall application performance. This has become a requirement for applications such as AI when moving massive amounts of data, exchanging messages and computing results. A previous IBTA blog on RDMA’s role in the future of AI noted that for those already deploying InfiniBand in their HPC and AI systems, the InfiniBand roadmap provides specific milestones around expected performance improvements to ensure their investment is protected, and with the assurance of backwards and forwards compatibility across the generations.
The InfiniBand roadmap is continuously developed as a collaborative effort from the various IBTA working groups. The roadmap is intended to keep the rate of InfiniBand performance increase in line with systems-level performance gains. Members of the IBTA working groups include leading enterprise IT vendors who are actively contributing to the advancement of InfiniBand.