InfiniBand is a powerful new architecture designed to support I/O connectivity for the Internet infrastructure. InfiniBand is supported by all the major OEM server vendors as a means to expand beyond and create the next generation I/O interconnect standard in servers. For the first time, a high volume, industry standard I/O interconnect extends the role of traditional "in the box" busses. InfiniBand is unique in providing both, an "in the box" backplane solution an external interconnect and "Bandwidth Out of the box", thus it provides connectivity in a way previously reserved only for traditional networking interconnects.
This unification of I/O and system area networking requires a new architecture that supports the needs of these two previously separate domains. Underlying this major I/O transition is InfiniBand's ability to support the Internet's requirement for RAS: reliability, availability, and serviceability. This white paper discusses the features and capabilities which demonstrate InfiniBand's superior abilities to support RAS relative to the legacy PCI bus and other proprietary switch fabric and I/O solutions. Further, it provides an overview of how the InfiniBand architecture supports a comprehensive silicon, software, and system solution. The comprehensive nature of the architecture is illustrated by providing an overview of the major sections of the InfiniBand 1.0 specification.
The scope of the 1.0 specification ranges from industry standard electrical interfaces and mechanical connectors to well defined software and management interfaces.Amdahl's Law is one of the fundamental principles of computer science and basically states that efficient systems must provide a balance between CPU performance, memory bandwidth, and I/O performance. At odds with this, is Moore's Law which has accurately predicted that semiconductors double their performance roughly every 18 months.