Record-Breaking InFiniBand Performance on Standard MPI Latency Tests Achieved by PathScale InfiniPath Interconnect

Posted by richlvmr on May 20, 2005 7:53 AM EDT
Yahoo News / PathScale; By PathScale
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 18 -- PathScale, developer of innovative software and hardware solutions to accelerate the performance and efficiency of Linux® clusters, has announced unprecedented results on industry-standard benchmark tests by its new InfiniPath(TM) cluster interconnect. The InfiniPath HTX(TM) Adapter is a low-latency cluster interconnect for InfiniBand(TM) that plugs into standard HyperTransport technology-based HTX slots on AMD Opteron(TM) processor-based servers. Over 20 leading Linux system vendors around the world have committed to reselling InfiniPath, which is immediately orderable.

Optimized for communications-sensitive applications, PathScale InfiniPath is the industry's lowest-latency Linux cluster interconnect for message passing (MPI) applications. InfiniPath has achieved an all-time record-low MPI latency of 1.32 microseconds on the standard Ohio State MPI benchmarks. InfiniPath also achieved a peak unidirectional bandwidth of 952 MB/s and achieves half of this peak bandwidth at 385 byte messages (streaming), the best in the industry. InfiniPath delivers SMP-class performance to commodity-priced compute clusters to increase application performance, cluster utilization and user productivity.

Performance results are posted at

Compared to other InfiniBand host channel adapters, InfiniPath delivers two to three times better latency at a comparable price. Now, for the first time, organizations using Linux clusters have a standards-compliant solution that offers both lower latency and higher bandwidth than proprietary interconnects of the past. InfiniPath is available both as an HTX adapter card and as an ASIC that can be designed into a server motherboard or blade server.

"PathScale's InfiniPath technology takes full advantage of the AMD Opteron processor with Direct Connect Architecture, directly connecting I/O, memory and processors with open-standard HyperTransport(TM) technology," said Pat Patla, director, server/workstation marketing, Microprocessor Solutions Sector for AMD (NYSE: AMD - News). "With over 20 AMD system partners now offering InfiniPath HTX adapters along with their AMD64 technology-based systems, there is clearly a strong market interest in this innovative new cluster interconnect solution."

InfiniPath leverages five important industry standards: HyperTransport, InfiniBand, OpenIB, MPICH and the AMD64 Direct Connect Architecture. InfiniPath connects to any standard InfiniBand 4X switch including those from Infinicon, TopSpin and Voltaire. InfiniPath will also support the OpenIB software stack providing full InfiniBand compliance. InfiniPath works with all AMD Opteron processors, but uniquely exploits Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor-based servers. InfiniPath implements a HyperTransport tunnel architecture enabling easier configurability on multiprocessor designs. With InfiniPath, applications deployed on Linux clusters can efficiently and reliably scale to thousands of nodes.

"Microway has been designing and manufacturing high performance computing solutions for 23 years and it is clear to us that PathScale's new low-latency InfiniPath interconnect is truly a technology breakthrough," said Ann Fried, Chairperson and Co-founder of Microway. "PathScale's high-performance approach to InfiniBand is a dramatic improvement over existing InfiniBand solutions for the HPC community. We are seeing substantial interest and strong demand for the InfiniPath interconnect in the markets that we serve."

PathScale InfiniPath HTX Adapters and AMD Opteron processor-based servers with Iwill DK8-HTX system boards offering the new standard HTX slots are now orderable from over 20 leading Linux systems providers who are members of the PathScale FastPath(TM) reseller program. These include Alexander Technology (Australia), Angstrom Microsystems (Boston), Appro International (San Jose), Aravision (Taiwan), Compusys (UK), Dalco AG (Switzerland), DataSwift (France), E4 Computer Engineering (Italy), Gridcore AB (Sweden), Hard Data (Canada), Megware (Germany), Microway (Plymouth, MA), NovaGlobal (Singapore), Progression Infonet (India), Rackable Systems (Milpitas, CA), Scalable Systems (Singapore), Streamline Computing (UK), Sumisho Electronics (Japan), Team HPC (Kansas City), T-Platforms (Russia), Visual Technology (Japan) and Western Scientific (San Diego).

"These record-breaking InfiniPath performance results are a significant milestone for both PathScale and the InfiniBand industry," said Scott Metcalf, CEO of PathScale. "By working closely with leading Linux cluster providers to market and support InfiniPath, PathScale is enabling a new generation of scalable, reliable InfiniBand-based applications at commodity price levels."

As part of its InfiniPath Early Access Program, PathScale is setting up a fully-integrated InfiniPath cluster at its Customer Benchmark Center in Mountain View, CA. This 16-node, 32-processor Linux cluster uses Microway Navion(TM) HTX Cluster Series servers with Iwill DK8-HTX dual motherboards powered by AMD Opteron processors operating at 2.6 GHz. Beginning in June, potential customers and ISVs will be able to remotely test MPI and TCP/IP applications and personally experience the performance advantages of the InfiniPath low-latency interconnect.


The InfiniPath HTX Adapter card will ship in late June and is orderable immediately from systems vendors participating in the PathScale FastPath(TM) reseller program as described at

The InfiniPath ASIC is orderable directly from PathScale.

HPC users and developers can register for the InfiniPath Early Access Program and test their MPI applications by visiting

About PathScale

Based in Mountain View, California, PathScale develops innovative software and hardware technologies that substantially increase the performance and efficiency of Linux clusters, the next significant wave in high-end computing. Applications that benefit from PathScale's technologies include seismic processing, complex physical modeling, EDA simulation, molecular modeling, biosciences, econometric modeling, computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, weather modeling, resource optimization, decision support and data mining. PathScale's investors include Adams Street Partners, Charles River Ventures, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, CMEA Ventures, ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures and the Dow Employees Pension Plan. For more details, visit, send email to or telephone 1-650-934-8100.

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