Virginia Tech Creates Third Fastest Supercomputer with InfiniBand

11/18/2003 - Mellanox® Technologies Ltd., the leader in InfiniBandSM solutions has announced, in conjunction with Virginia Tech, the deployment, performance results and ranking for Virginia Tech’s 1105 node InfiniBand computing cluster. The performance result achieves a #3 position on the new Top500 Supercomputer list ( that was released today. Leveraging the industry standard InfiniBand interconnect and industry standard Apple Power Mac G5 computers, Virginia Tech was able to build the system in less than four months for only $5.2 million - less than one tenth the average cost of comparable systems.

This InfiniBand cluster is reporting 10.28 TeraFlops, which ranks #3 on the latest Top500 list making it the most powerful computer at any educational institution in the world. Previous systems in the top 5 have typically cost well over $50M, and the #1 and #2 systems in this list each cost well over $100M. Mellanox and Virginia Tech have clearly demonstrated that industry standard clusters provide huge compute capabilities at a fraction of the cost.

"The decision to use industry standard 10 Gb/sec InfiniBand technology for the high performance interconnect was absolutely the right choice for this record breaking cluster," says Dr. Srinidhi Varadarajan, of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering. "The InfiniBand interconnect has performed flawlessly for Virginia Tech. InfiniBand has scaled beyond our expectations enabling us to deploy this cluster in record time, at a record low cost while setting a new performance standard for the world to follow."

The cluster features the G5 using PowerPC 64-bit processors running at 2GHz each, complemented by an incredible 4.4 TeraBytes of total system memory. All 1105 cluster nodes are interconnected with 10 Gb/sec ultra low latency InfiniBand links through twenty-four 96-Port InfiniBand switches, utilizing copper cables from Amphenol. The performance results of 10.28 TeraFlops was submitted to the and has received an official ranking on the new list published at the SC2003 (SuperComputing) Conference in Phoenix. The cluster runs on Mac OS X, Virginia Tech utilities, and MVAPICH (MPI for InfiniBand) developed by the Department of Computer and Information Science at Ohio State University.

"The scalability and performance of InfiniBand has enabled Virginia Tech to quickly build one of the most powerful computing facilities in the world from inexpensive industry standard servers. This cluster is truly a breakthrough event in computing," said Eyal Waldman, CEO for Mellanox. "Virginia Tech and Mellanox have achieved a feat that proves it is possible to achieve massive computational power quickly and at a fraction of the cost."

About InfiniBand
InfiniBand is the only 10 Gb/sec ultra low latency clustering, communication, storage and embedded interconnect in the market today. InfiniBand, based on an industry standard, provides the most robust data center interconnect solution available with reliability, availability, serviceability and manageability features designed from the ground up. These parameters greatly reduce total cost of ownership for the data center. Low cost InfiniBand silicon that supports 10 Gb/sec RDMA transfers is shipping today providing eight times the bandwidth of Ethernet and three times the bandwidth of proprietary clustering interconnects. With an approved specification for 30 Gb/sec, InfiniBand is at least a generation ahead of competing fabric technologies today and in the foreseeable future.

About Mellanox
Mellanox is the leading supplier of InfiniBand semiconductors, providing complete solutions including switches, host channel adapters, and target channel adapters to the server, communications, data storage, and embedded markets. Mellanox Technologies has delivered more than 100,000 InfiniBand ports over two generations of 10 Gb/sec InfiniBand devices including the InfiniBridge, InfiniScale, InfiniHost and InfiniScale III devices. Mellanox InfiniBand interconnect solutions today provide over eight times the performance of Ethernet, and over three times the performance of proprietary interconnects. The company has strong backing from corporate investors including Dell, IBM, Intel Capital, Quanta Computers, Sun Microsystems, and Vitesse as well as, strong venture backing from Bessemer Venture Partners, Raza Venture Management, Sequoia Capital, US Venture Partners, and others. The company has major offices located in Santa Clara, CA, Yokneam and Tel Aviv Israel. For more information on Mellanox, visit

Mellanox is a registered trademark of Mellanox Technologies and InfiniBridge, InfiniHost and InfiniScale are trademarks of Mellanox. InfiniBand (TM/SM) is a registered trademark and service mark of the InfiniBand Trade Association.

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