Intel Starts to Close Omni-Path: OPA1 Xeon CPUs on EOL, OPA2 Axed

@ 2019/10/11
Intel this week announced plans to discontinue its 1st Generation Xeon Scalable processors with Omni-Path interconnect a year from now. With no 2nd Generation Xeon Scalable products announced to date supporting the technology as well as already cancelled plans for Omni-Path 200 Gbps fabric, Intel is canning the whole project.

Early in the decade, Intel acquired Cray’s interconnect assets as well as QLogic’s InfiniBand technology in a bid to build its own fast, highly-scalable, low-latency interconnect technology for datacenters and supercomputers. The result of Intel’s design efforts was creation of the Omni-Path network fabric technology that was developed primarily with Intel Xeon Phi-based HPC systems in mind. Indeed, Intel’s 2nd Generation Xeon Phi (Knights Landing) were the first to get Omni-Path and eventually the technology found its way into Xeon Scalable F-series CPUs as well as add-in cards for regular Xeon systems. Meanwhile, a lot has changed since 2012 when longer-term roadmap for Omni-Path was set. Intel’s Xeon Phi products have been discontinued and their underline MIC architecture seems to be gone. Besides, there are also a host of new interconnection technologies that would be competing with Omni-Path. As a result, the company canned development of its 2nd Generation Omni-Path interconnect that promised speeds of up to 200 Gbps earlier this year and reportedly advised its customers not to start designs using the OPA 100 technology.

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