APEnet+ is the new generation of our 3D network adapters for PC clusters.
Many scientific computations need multi-node parallelism for matching up both space (memory) and time (speed) ever-increasing requirements. The use of GPUs as accelerators introduces yet another level of complexity for the programmer and may potentially result in large overheads due to bookkeeping of memory buffers. Additionally, top-notch problems may easily employ more than a PetaFlops of sustained computing power, requiring thousands of GPUs orchestrated via some parallel programming model, mainly Message Passing Interface (MPI).
APEnet+ aim and features
The project target is the development of a low latency, high bandwidth direct network, supporting state-of-the-art wire speeds and PCIe X8 gen2 while improving the price/performance ratio on scaling the cluster size. The network interface provides hardware support for the RDMA programming model. A Linux kernel driver, a set of low-level RDMA APIs and an OpenMPI library driver are available; this allows for painless porting of standard applications.