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Wednesday, March 09, 2016

IDT teams with ProDrive to reduce switch latency

By Nick Flaherty

The latency of switching data is a key challenge for today's high speed networks, and IDT has teamed up with Prodrive Technologies to develop a RapidIO switch with 100ns latency for next generation cellular infrastructure.

The embedded devices for these switches will be used in networks running from 750 Gbit/s to 4.8 Tbit/s for next generation 5G cellular networks where the lower latency will open up applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as Mobile Edge and High-Performance Computing applications.

The new products are the result of work the two companies have conducted under the charter of the Open Compute Project (OPC) HPC group, which IDT co-chairs. The switch appliances use IDT's RapidIO technology, which is designed in to many 4G LTE networks.

RapidIO switches are used to connect computing components in complex processing-intensive systems, including SoCs, DSPs, FPGAs, GPUs and custom ASICs. IDT has shipped more than 110 million ports of its 10-20 Gbps RapidIO switches for use in production networks. In addition to using the second-generation switches, the new appliance portfolio will deploy IDT’s recently announced RXS family of RapidIO switches, which enable ports running at up to 50 Gbps with less than 1.2 W per port and 100ns latency.

"The single millisecond round trip latency requirements of 5G infrastructure will place considerable demands on all computing elements in the network, and these new RapidIO-based switching appliances deliver a leading combination of latency and energy efficiency,” said Sailesh Chittipeddi, IDT’s CTO and vice president of global operations. “This collaboration withProdrive Technologies helps meet the needs of 5G edge computing and C-RAN in the telecommunications arena, as well as high-performance computing and data centre analytics.”

Initial systems leveraging switch appliances with 38 ports operating at 20 Gbps have been deployed in wireless C-RAN and data analytics systems. Additional products, expected in the latter half of 2016, use IDT’s 50 Gbps-per-port RXS switch silicon portfolio with 19 inch rack-mountable systems.

“The collaboration with IDT has been instrumental in winning computing and telco customers using our RapidIO- based servers and switch appliances,” said Pieter Janssen, CEO of Prodrive Technologies. “By combining IDT’s interconnect and market channels with the Prodrive design and manufacturing in the EU, we have already deployed 10-20Gbps versions of the switch portfolio in tier 1 telco C-RAN programs as well as top-tier European HPC-oriented data centres. The switch appliances, complete with Prodrive’s RapidIO-connected FPGA/Power/x86/ARM servers, are also attractive for financial trading applications.”

The switch appliances feature scalable modularity with 32 to 96 ports supporting clustering at rack or multi-rack scale for target applications supporting heterogeneous processing with CPUs and accelerators. Multiple switch appliances can be connected in a leaf and spine network leveraging the RapidIO protocol to connect up to 64K processing nodes in a single network. Individual ports can be configured to run at a variety of speeds, including 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 50 Gbps, and thus tuned to optimize overall system power consumption, depending on application workload.

"Taking an open and collaborative approach to developing solutions for Open Compute and OpenPOWER is accelerating and strengthening the development efforts of our broader open community," said Calista Redmond, president of the OpenPOWER Foundation. "IDT is at the forefront as OpenPOWER grows capabilities into edge computing across system and switch resources."

The switch appliance products are available directly from Prodrive Technologies: The 20 Gbps-per-port versions are available now.  Lead customers can contact Prodrive for customized 50 Gbps-per-port solutions featuring IDT’s RXS RapidIO switches.

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