Sun Microsystems is in the hunt for an Infiniband-based unified fabric platform that would provide an alternative to Ethernet strategies currently under way at Emulex, Cisco and elsewhere, according to this report in EE Times.
The site quotes Executive VP John Fowler as saying a suite of products that would put networking, storage and clustering traffic aboard a single Infiniband network will arrive later this year.
Such a system would almost certainly rely on Mellanox chips. The company is close to completing a 40 Gbps Infiniband version of the ConnectX chips for switches and adapters, with Ethernet and Fibre Channel versions to follow later. Not only would 40 Gbps Infiniband be faster than current 10 GbE technology, but it is also less prone to dropping packets and provides better congestion management tools.
The downside, of course, is the price. But since Sun largely caters to high-performance environments, it's more likely that customers will pay a premium for faster networking as well.