By Bill Lee

The ever-increasing need for higher performance in the world of supercomputing demands interconnect solutions provide continuously faster speeds, lower latency and advanced telemetry and configuration options. The InfiniBand® Trade Association (IBTA) continues to meet these industry demands by providing enhancements to InfiniBand scalability and optimization. With the public availability of the InfiniBand Architecture Specification Volume 1 Release 1.4 and Volume 2 Release 1.4, the InfiniBand Architecture Specification continues to provide end users with optimal bandwidth, power and latency while improving overall functionality and implementer access.

Volume 1 defines the core InfiniBand Architecture, information required for operation of switches, routers, server or storage adapters, and management. Release 1.4 enhancements improve manageability by enhancing quality of service with virtual lane arbitration, accelerating access to switch port state information for advanced telemetry capabilities, and encompassing support of features added to Volume 2 as well as integrating previously released RoCE and Virtualization Annexes. Volume 1 also improved its compliance statements to simplify members efforts to deliver compliant InfiniBand products.

Volume 2 specifies the electrical and mechanical configurations, defining the requirements for physical media and signaling rates.  Release 1.4 includes support for 50Gb/s per lane throughput, PAM-4 signaling, and adjustable forward error correction to enable the fastest and most reliable server and storage connectivity.  It also adds support for 2X link width, enabling more options for switch and adapter network configurations and high switch radix product implementations.

With these updates in place, the InfiniBand ecosystem will continue to grow and address the needs of the next generation of high performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence, cloud and enterprise data center compute and storage connectivity. The InfiniBand Architecture Specification Volume 1 Release 1.4 and Volume 2 Release 1.4 are available for download here.