Intel begins sampling Infiniband I/O gear

InfoWorld |  Hardware

LOOKING TOWARD AN industry migration away from bus-based I/O architectures, Intel on Monday announced it has begun sampling three vital components of Infiniband at computer manufacturers such as Compaq Computer and IBM.

The Infiniband Host Channel Adapter, Infiniband Switch, and Infiniband Target Channel Adapter are available to computer manufacturers now for testing but will not officially ship until the end of this year, according to Phil Brace, the director of platform marketing for Intel's fabric components division.

Monday's announcement signals the beginning of what Intel hopes will be an industrywide transition from bus-based I/O architectures to Infiniband, a switched fabric architecture that could eventually replace even PCI technology, Brace said.

"This signals a transition from the development of Infiniband architecture to the development of Infiniband products," Brace said.

The Infiniband Host Channel Adapter attaches the I/O solution to servers, the Infiniband Switch acts as a data traffic cop, and the Infiniband Target Channel Adapter is used by vendors to build storage or networking devices for Infiniband, according to Brace. Pricing will be made available when the products ship later this year.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel is a founding member of the Infiniband Trade Association, which released the initial Infiniband 1.0 specification last October at its second developers' conference in Las Vegas.

The Infiniband Trade Association is comprised of industry leaders including Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft.

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