Intel Debuts Omni-Path for Scalable System Framework

A new system architecture from Intel promises to bring high performance computing to more enterprise workloads. The company said that the new technology will make high performance capabilities (HPC) available to more industries and more types of users.

The new Omni-Path architecture (OPA) is a series of upgrades to the chipmakerEUs Scalable System Framework (SSF). Intel added that Omni-Path improves the performance of HPC applications for entry level to large-scale HPC clusters.

The framework combines next-generation Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi processors, Intel OPA, silicon photonics, innovative memory technologies, and the Intel Lustre parallel file system, along with the ability to efficiently integrate them into a broad spectrum of system solutions, the company said.

Designed specifically for HPC, the Intel Omni-Path Host Fabric Interface (Image: Omni-Path OPA HFI) uses an advanced connectionless design that delivers performance that scales with high node and core counts, making it the ideal choice for the most demanding application environments, according to the company.

If IntelEUs claims are true, Omni-Path could make supercomputing capabilities available to almost any user. Once only available to governments and university researchers doing work on complex problems like genome sequencing, supercomputing has gradually expanded as the computing demands of other sectors have grown.

A New Era of Supercomputing?

The advent of big data analytics and the workloads that accompany them have only increased the demand for supercomputing abilities in industries such as financial services and healthcare.

"We're entering a new era in which supercomputing is being transformed from a tool for a specific problem to a general tool for many," said Charlie Wuischpard, vice president and general manager of HPC Platform Group at Intel. "System-level innovations in processing, memory, software and fabric technologies are enabling system capabilities to be designed and optimized for different usages, from traditional HPC to the emerging...

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