Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect
A group of leading technology companies today announced the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today’s bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium Inc., Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, Microsemi, Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, SK hynix, Western Digital Corporation, and Xilinx.
Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.
Gen-Z provides the following benefits:
- High Bandwidth, Low Latency: Simplified interface based on memory semantics, scalable from tens to several hundred GB/s of bandwidth, with sub-100 ns load-to-use memory latency.
- Advanced Workloads and Technologies: Enables data centric computing with scalable memory pools and resources for real-time analytics and in-memory applications. Accelerates new memory and storage innovation.
- Compatible and Economical: Highly software compatible with no required changes to the operating system. Scales from simple, low cost connectivity to highly capable, rack scale interconnect.
The Gen-Z Consortium, established by current board members AMD, ARM, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx, is an open, non-proprietary, transparent industry standards body. The consortium reflects a broader industry trend that recognizes the importance of open standards and their role in providing a level playing field to promote adoption, innovation and choice. The Gen-Z Consortium is accepting new members. The core specification, covering the architecture and protocol, will be finalized in late 2016. For more information visit www.genzconsortium.org .
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Gen-Z Consortium Partner Quotes
“AMD is committed to open ecosystems for technology development and is excited to join the rest of the Gen-Z members today in announcing this significant step. The need for high-bandwidth, low-latency access to memory and storage as well as rack-scale composability in the datacenter is growing rapidly. Gen-Z is an advanced, modern protocol designed to deliver a high-performance, cross-platform solution that can serve its members and their customers far into the future.”
- Mark Papermaster, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President Technology and Engineering, AMD
“Modern data center and cloud workloads drive the need to efficiently integrate emerging memory and storage technologies to solve the challenges at rack-scale. Gen-Z offers a scalable approach to rack-scale sharing, enabling new use cases and system architectures. In concert with other standards bodies, Gen-Z is fostering collaboration between industry leaders to develop open standards that will enable choice and innovation in the data center.”
- Lakshmi Mandyam, Senior Marketing Director of Server Program, ARM
“An open, democratic coherent connectivity standard that enables the next generation of scale and performance is needed in the industry. We are pleased to be a part of the Gen-Z consortium and to contribute to this next phase datacenter architecture. Gen-Z will allow our next generation servers, SoCs and network connectivity products to further accelerate the market trend toward application specific, heterogeneous deployments.”
- Gopal Hegde, VP/GM Datacenter Processor Group, Cavium
"As the industry moves toward the 3rd platform new open innovations are required to enable infrastructure support of massive data, billions of IoT devices, and cloud native applications. Taking advantage of new storage class memories and enabling composability in a memory centric way will be critical as the control plane shifts toward memory computing. Gen-Z is an open industry standard that enables these innovations. Dell EMC is excited to be part of the Consortium that is developing this ground breaking open industry standard."
- John Roese, EVP/CTO - Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell EMC
“As data volumes continue to grow and the time to result of analytics become increasingly critical to our customer’s business, we need new architectures and technologies that can effectively process the information. HPE is committed to supporting open standards and working collaboratively to develop this new memory semantic fabric that meets the demands of the modern data center.”
- Mark Potter, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Enterprise Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
“Huawei is committed to supporting development of industry open standards to explore IT system innovation and meet our customers' needs on real-time and huge-volume data processing in big data era. Gen-Z is an open standard developed for high performance, and highly scalable memory system interconnect to enable flexible workloads support on big data analytics, and new technologies support such as storage class memory and memory centric computing.”
- Zheng Yelai, President of Huawei's IT Product Line
"The increased computing demands of artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics and other Cognitive Era workloads requires greater hardware performance and innovation. This increased demand, combined with the reduction in benefit from Moore's Law, calls for a new set of open standards. The combination of system-level acceleration via CAPI technology and now datacenter rack-level acceleration with Gen-Z can enable the industry to deliver much-desired breakthroughs in datacenter technology."
- Brad McCredie, Fellow and Vice President of POWER Development, IBM
“As a leading provider of interconnect solutions for memory, storage and processor subsystems, IDT is pleased to work with the Gen-Z Consortium as a founding member to define a groundbreaking new standard that addresses the next generation of scalable data center architectures. The convergence of the memory-storage hierarchy and need for a scalable interconnect that accelerates real time data analytics makes Gen-Z an exciting new alternative to the traditional set of disparate standards that exist today.”
- Sean Fan, Vice President and General Manager, Computing and Communications Division, Integrated Device Technology
“Mellanox endorses open collaborations that enable and enhance industry standards to meet the future needs of the data center, and, as such, is happy to be part of the Gen-Z consortium. Gen-Z can help to accelerate the communications between the processing units, the memory and the interconnect, enhancing the connectivity to both Ethernet and InfiniBand, and resulting in higher application performance and data center efficiency.”
- Gilad Shainer, Vice President of Marketing, Mellanox Technologies
“While memory has always been an essential building block for computing, it is quickly becoming the critical technology to unlocking next-generation performance. Because open standards present the best opportunity for rapid innovation, Gen-Z Consortium is an important step in ensuring that developing architectures can quickly adapt to capitalize on the dramatic benefits provided by new memory technologies.”
- Tom Eby, Vice President and GM Compute and Networking Business, Micron Technology, Inc.
“As scalable data access becomes increasingly important to the modern enterprise, Red Hat recognizes the need for a unifying, standard fabric that simplifies access to various types of memory and storage. Gen-Z intends to provide an open solution, and Red Hat is pleased to participate in this multi-vendor collaboration, especially as we expect operating systems will play a critical role in enabling this protocol within the datacenter.”
- Tim Burke, Vice President, Platform Technology, Red Hat
“Data volumes have been growing at a tremendous pace and require new architecture or memory technologies for better scalability and efficiency. This new open standard memory semantics fabric could be a step towards the goal. As always, Samsung will continue to support open standards in pursuit of technological improvements."
- Chiwook Kim, Vice President of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team, Samsung Electronics
"As the process node scaling limit causes slow-down of the evolution in current memory system infrastructure, Gen-Z is a solution that can greatly improve the scalability of memory solutions through evolutions of physical layer and media controller layer."
- Boryeong Wi, Vice President, Head of DRAM Product Planning & Enabling Office, SK hynix Inc.
“The tremendous speed, endurance and capacity of Storage Class Memory offers the potential to transform the management of mass data for many years to come. We are proud to continue our long-standing commitment to Storage Class Memory and join the Gen-Z Consortium to develop industry standards that will support our ecosystem partners and customers in the adoption of this ground-breaking technology.”
- Steven Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Western Digital Corporation
“As we look towards the Zettabyte era, the challenges of data access, storage and processing is going to require new system architectures. At Xilinx, we are committed to open standards that will pave the way to the next generation datacenters. New memory and storage technologies are blurring the boundaries between them and this provides opportunities to rethink and revolutionize the traditional memory and storage hierarchies.”
- Gaurav Singh, Vice President of Architecture, Xilinx
Nereus for Gen-Z
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