Quadrics releases QsNetII support for AMD Opteron™ processors with sub 2us MPI latency
Friday February 27 2004 @ 09:58AM EST

Bristol (UK) Quadrics today announced that its QsNetII (elan4) high performance network products are now fully available on AMD OpteronTM processor-based platforms and is now shipping QsNetII releases to a number of AMD Opteron processor customers. QsNet provides a high-capability solution, offering low-latency, high-bandwidth and scalability for building Linux cluster systems and together with the Quadrics Resource Management System provides the necessary production level environment for Supercomputing operations.

The Quadrics’ QsNetII PCI-X 64-bit host adaptor operates at the full 133 MHz specification and provides over 850 Mbytes/s sustained MPI bandwidth and close to 1.8 us MPI latency for standard AMD Opteron processor–based architectures. Multiple adaptors can also be used to provide even more MPI bandwidth and/or high availability when required. The QsNetII Quadrics product, builds on the success of the previous generation QsNet product which has been deployed in a large number of the top 10 Supercomputers in the past 3 years.

"Quadrics is witnessing a large market pull towards use of the AMD Opteron processor and will continue to develop its software environment to ensure that the full benefits of AMD Opteron processor–based servers can be exploited," said John Taylor, Head of Marketing and Technical Support at Quadrics. "The deployment of very large Linux clusters is increasing as a means to deliver supercomputing performance and reliability at more cost-effective rates. Quadrics continues to work together with industrial leaders to provide customers with best-in-class high performance networking solutions." Since the launch of the AMD Opteron processor, Quadrics has been working closely with AMD to provide full support of its features and benefits. As a SUSE LINUX Technology Partner, Quadrics now provides optimized support for NUMA-based kernels, having tuned QsNetII to the enhancements for NUMA systems incorporated in SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64. In conjunction with AMD Opteron processor suppliers, Quadrics ensures that QsNetII is fully certified for AMD Opteron processor-based servers and their PCI-X subsystems.

“The AMD Opteron processor platform can provide outstanding security and investment protection for today’s high-performance computing environments,” said Ben Williams, director, server/workstation business segment, AMD’s Computation Products Group. “This announcement further demonstrates that AMD is meeting customer’s needs with a 32- and 64-bit simplified networking backbone in the AMD Opteron processor.” "SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8 for AMD64 provides businesses with a future-proof server operating environment expertly tuned to AMD Opteron processors," said Uwe Heine, Chief Alliance Officer at Novell's SUSE LINUX business unit. "Quadrics' QsNetII host adaptor supporting AMD Opteron helps corporations which run SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server technology on large Linux clusters to further increase efficiency and performance."

QsNetII development has up to now focussed on very large switch configurations and deployment of two 1024-way systems. In the next quarter, Quadrics will announce a series of highly competitive switch configurations making QsNetII more cost-effective for medium sized cluster configuration deployment. These will be available initially as an 8-way configuration, specifically designed for technical evaluation of QsNetII, and followed later in the year by 32, 64 and 128-way solutions.

Quadrics' scalable, high performance solutions combine the industry-leading QsNet interconnect with standard microprocessor and operating system platforms. QsNet enables large clusters of these processing units to be connected together. With extremely high bandwidth and ultra-low latency, it is a crucial component for building scalable systems. It has been used to build the largest Linux based system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory called MCR. QsNetII extends support for clusters to standard configurations of over 4000 nodes with support for broadcast in hardware and scalable collective operations.

QsNet not only provides extremely fast user-level operations such as MPI and Shmem, but also provides reliable kernel-level communications and IP and UDP and is fully supported as is the Lustre scalable file-system.

Performance alone, however, is only part of the picture. Quadrics' unique solution lies in combining the performance of QsNet with a software environment to ensure that clusters spanning thousands of processors can be used, administered and run effectively. This combination provides the critical production capability for cluster-driven computing.

About Quadrics

Quadrics is a leading supplier and developer of high performance networking products and resource management software. QsNet product families are based on internally developed ASICs, firmware and software technologies, and offer customers high performance, scalability and flexibility. As a critical technology component, creating the right partnerships is the key to delivering success as the combination of best-of-breed products and services will provide the most cost-effective solution. Quadrics’ products have been selected by the world's leading vendors and integrators as well as major Supercomputing Centres such as Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories, Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In addition Quadrics software products are fully integrated with Platform Inc. Load Sharing Facility, Etnus Inc, TotalView Debugger and Pallas’ VAMPIR and VAMPIRTRACE performance analysis tools. Quadrics corporate headquarters are located in Bristol, UK with offices in Rome and soon to be in the US.News releases and other information about Quadrics are available at www.quadrics.com. Quadrics Ltd is part of the Finmeccanica Group of companies.

AMD, AMD Opteron, and combinations thereof, are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

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