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Optical beats copper in Infiniband tests

Posted: 01 Jul 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optical cable  Infiniband  copper  waveform generator 

Although copper cables have represented a major obstacle to building large Infiniband-based computing clusters, many system administrators have been reluctant to make the move to optical cabling due to concerns about performance and reliability. A new range of high-performance (20Gbps) optical interconnect cables designed to enable computing clusters to scale out substantially further (up to 100m) than existing 24AWG copper cables, with strong signal quality, a low bit-error rate (BER), the potential for increased reliability, and other advantages has recently become available.

A key element in the development process of advanced interconnect designs is verification of performance and, in particular, compliance with the required industry standards. As multi-gigabit data rates become common in digital systems, signal integrity is becoming a paramount concern for designers and customers, and any new cable must be proved not to impact the quality of signals passing through. In this article, we will look at the test configuration for a new Infiniband optical cable from Intel.

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