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New InfiniBand Specification Enables Data Centers with Enhanced Switch Density and Scale Out Features
[November 09, 2022]

New InfiniBand Specification Enables Data Centers with Enhanced Switch Density and Scale Out Features

The InfiniBand® Trade Association (IBTA), a global organization dedicated to developing and furthering the adoption of RDMA technologies, today announced the availability of the IBTA Specification Volume 1 Release 1.6, which adds support for large radix switches, enabling ultra-dense data center infrastructures with a dramatic decrease in overall infrastructure and power costs.

The new 1.6 specification enables the build out of 256-port top-of-rack (ToR) switches, up from 64-ports. When compared to a traditional 256-port non-blocking fat-tree topology, data centers utilizing new 256-port ToR switches will be enabled with significant OPEX and CAPEX reductions: 2x less cables, 12x less switches, with 1/3 the number of switch hops, reducing overall latency.

Additional features in the 1.6 specification include extended OpCodes for generalized transport function classes, as well as for enhanced Memory Placement Extensions (MPE) that will further reduce latency in distributed memory applications.

"Volume 1 Release 1.6 includes two major updates, one of which is the support for large radix switches, enabling significant cost and power reduction. The other significant addition is the new MPE Verify Operation which provides data verification without the need for ULP techniques. By utilizing the responder to perform the verifiction of remotely written data, the task is offloaded from the requestor and the network which in turn reduces latency, improves bandwidth usage and prevents pipeline stalls while the data is verified. These features make the Volume 1 Release 1.6 an important new release which furthers the advantages provided by both InfiniBand and RoCE RDMA Fabrics," said Rupert Dance, IBTA Compliance & Interoperability Working Group Chair and Link Working Group Co-Chair.


About the InfiniBand® Trade Association

The InfiniBand® Trade Association was founded in 1999 and is chartered with maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand and the RoCE specifications. The IBTA is led by a distinguished steering committee that includes HPE, IBM, Intel Corporation, and NVIDIA. Other members of the IBTA represent leading enterprise IT vendors who are actively contributing to the advancement of the InfiniBand and RoCE specifications. The IBTA markets and promotes InfiniBand and RoCE from an industry perspective through online, marketing and public relations engagements, and unites the industry through IBTA-sponsored technical events and resources. For more information on the IBTA, visit

InfiniBand (TM/SM) and RoCE are trademark and service marks of the IBTA. Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners.

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