Two companies backing the InfiniBand standard have taken steps to move the high-speed networking technology closer to reality, the companies announced Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum. Chipmaker Mellanox has revamped the Beowulf technique for making cheap supercomputers, using InfiniBand connections between computers instead of the Ethernet network that prevails today. The system uses the Message Passing Interface (MPI) communication standard common in Beowulf clusters. The software ran on Mellanox's Nitro computer, which has 16 thin server "blades" in a single 7-inch-thick cabinet.
Also Tuesday, Banderacom announced new product kits to help companies use its InfiniBand chip designs. One is for fiber-optic connections to the current "1x" version of InfiniBand; the other is for the second-generation "4x" version with copper wire connections, the company said. Products with InfiniBand 4x connections are expected in 2003, the company said.