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It's neat having speedy, flashy boxen but they need connecting, too

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A foot in both camps?

Seeing as Intel are also (IIRC) on the Infiniband Trade Association board and make IB products, it would seem they have either a viewpoint that makes them think their new tech will beat IB, or at least be more competitive than at first take.

I suppose one key advantage Intel may be able to offer is to be able to switch cores in and out of use for the interconnect. The article mentions the case when all the nodes have finished processing and are then readying to transmit the data to the central control node. In the Infiniband case, everything gets pushed out through a bus to the cards where ASICs package it up and send it on its way. In the new Intel offering, the data could still be in RAM and the cores that have finished processing can now be switched to crunching the packaging problem, probably faster as a group than ASICs on even a set of cards. I suppose it all depends on how clever Intel are with the drivers.

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