NetEffect: An Ethernet to Rival Infiniband?

Arthur Cole

To be filed in the "highly-significant-if-it's-true" folder is this write-up by Rick Merritt of EE Times regarding NetEffect's claim that its new NEO20 10 GbE card rivals Infiniband in terms of throughput, latency and cost.


The company reports that the card delivers nearly 1.2 Gbps with a latency of only 7 microseconds for a single 10Gb write. Now, this is slower than a 20GB double data-rate Infiniband card, which can muster 1.4 Gbps at 2 microseconds, but NetEffect says it can carry more than 20 requests at a time, putting it in league with Infiniband again. Of course, to get that throughput, you'll need a two-socket server running quad-core processors.


NetEffect says it achieved this performance by shrinking its 130nm design down to 90nm, primarily by switching from LSI Logic's RapidChip, which has been discontinued anyway, to a custom-designed ASIC from Taiwan Semiconductor.


There's a lot more to digest in the article, like how NetEffect plans to implement the iWarp standard. But if the system works as advertised, it could go a long way in the drive to consolidate data traffic and foster storage and server clustering.

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