[Beowulf] Bolts of Thunder and Upgraded desktop interconnect silicon....

James Cuff james_cuff at harvard.edu
Tue Jun 11 05:01:06 PDT 2013


On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 1:16 AM, Lux, Jim (337C)
<james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:

> So what does TB give you that 10GigE doesn't?  Maybe different framing?

I'm with you.  Right now TB2 is showing 20G rates, so that is an
uptick on 10GigE, and although it looks like a mock up, the I/O
picture at http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/ appears to be showing 6 x
20Gb/s TB2 ports... that is a fair amount of bandwidth in anyones
book.  I hear ya'll on the wires.

What with that and the total lack of any signal driver in the kernel
outside of osx probably makes it a wash, I think Gerald had it nailed.
 I still see value with some OpenFlow, a spot of kernel driver to make
for a high data rate interconnect could be lovely to stitch together
GPGPU w/o all the shenanigans of MPI we are used to...  although we
are more likely to see it used for Phi breakout boxes before we ever
see that one come to pass :-)

j.


> On 6/10/13 8:57 PM, "Gerald Henriksen" <ghenriks at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>On Mon, 10 Jun 2013 18:57:29 -0400, you wrote:
>>
>>>So a company based out of Cupertino mentioned using this silicon in a
>>>revamp of their MacPro line today...
>>>
>>>http://blogs.intel.com/technology/2013/06/video-creation-bolts-ahead-%E2%
>>>80%93-intel%E2%80%99s-thunderbolt%E2%84%A2-2-doubles-bandwidth-enabling-4
>>>k-video-transfer-display-2/
>>>
>>>we appear to have a second version of a 20GB/s consumer connection
>>>(latency unknown), and yet this search:
>>>
>>>https://www.google.com/search?q=linux+thunderbolt+interconnect
>>>
>>>does not really go anywhere cool like a github or kernel.org repo....
>>>
>>>Any qualified folks know where this thunderbolt stuff is all heading
>>>and are able to talk in public?
>>
>>Thunderbolt so far is a very niche product that almost everybody
>>appears to be ignoring.
>>
>>The cables are expensive - starting in the $40 range for a 1 m cable.
>>
>>Actual devices are hard to come by, and tend towards the expensive -
>>raid boxes, and a couple of docks in the $300 range.
>>
>>This might change later this year when the new Mac Pro is released as
>>the closed box nature of it will force/encourage any expansion to be
>>external.
>>
>>But for now it looks like another Firewire in terms of market
>>acceptance.
>>
>>Until Intel (with or without the help of Apple) can get the cable
>>prices down and some more common affordable peripherals available -
>>like a single drive enclosure - the market will likely continue to
>>ignore Thunderbolt.
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-- 
dr. james cuff, director of research computing & chief technology
architect harvard university | faculty of arts and sciences | division
of science rm 210, thirty eight oxford street, cambridge. ma. 02138
tel: +1 617 384 7647 | http://about.me/jcuff


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