Electronic Design

InfiniBand Ties Together Dual SMP Computing Blades

InfiniBand is keeping its promise of a high-performance, low-latency interconnect fabric with Sky Computer's SmartPac hardware series. Dual-processor, symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) blades connected by an InfiniBand switch lie at the center of the new SmartPac 600 Data Acquisition Server and the SmartPac 1200 Compute Server.

Each dual-processor blade contains a pair of 1-GHz AltiVec MPC7447 PowerPC processors, up to 4 Gbytes of SDRAM, 64 Mbytes of flash memory, 10/100BaseT Ethernet, and a Discovery II System Controller. The controller supports a dual 64-bit/133-MHz PCI-X bus (1 Gbyte/s), a 64-bit/133-MHz MPX processor bus (1 Gbyte/s), and a 64-bit/133-MHz double-data-rate memory bus (2 Gbyte/s). Ethernet provides out-of-band system management normally handled through the InfiniBand connections.

The systems utilize Mellanox's 23108 InfiniBand Host Channel Adapter, which employs a 4× interface. The InfiniBand switch uses the shipping InfiniScale II switch chip rather than the newer, 24-port InfiniScale III (see "Switch-Chip Fuels Third-Generation InfiniBand," Nov. 10, 2003, p. 51).

SmartPac 600 handles up to 12 blades, and SmartPac 1200 handles twice that amount. Six InfiniBand connections are available on the back of each unit for interconnects to other InfiniBand chassis, such as additional SmartPac units.

The SmartPac 600 and 1200 cost $21,250 and $22,700, respectively.

Sky Computers

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