All posts by Julie M. Dibene

About Julie M. Dibene

Julieanne DiBene is the Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Mellanox. Prior to this, she was the Director of Marketing Communications with Micrel Inc., a semiconductor manufacturer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from San Jose State University.

That’s Entertainment: The Shift to 4K Starts With Mellanox

Malcom X once said, The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Media is now much more than movies, it is also television, news, online internet, social media, sports…and all have the power to entertain, educate, enthrall and entrance. Modern day media can change the course of history, impact elections, shed light on news and matters of interest. Streaming news can warn of impending disaster, thus saving lives. It can teach us, it can touch us, it can make us care and it can inform. Media, is, as Malcom X pointed out, is a powerful entity.

And most of the world agrees. It’s been estimated that there are some 500,000 movies currently in existence. The average person goes to five movies a year and the average American watches more than five hours a television daily or a bit more than 77 days a year. Additionally, 99 percent of Americans have at least one television in their home and when it comes to another form of popular entertainment, more than 1.2 billion people play video games worldwide, amounting to 44 percent of the world’s online population. In this sector, hottest sector is e-sports where people do live tournaments online

Add into the mix live news and on-demand multi-media content that are pushed out and fed to billions of mobile devices and the countless online communities sharing videos and moments with friends, etc.

That’s a lot of entertainment.

And it is also big business. The media and entertainment (M&E) industry in the U.S. alone is a $703 billion market, a complex network of businesses that produce and distribute motion pictures, television programs and commercials along with streaming content, music and audio recordings, broadcast, radio, book publishing, and video games, and more. The U.S. M&E market, representing fully a third of the worldwide industry, is expected to top $804 billion by 2021. And the remaining worldwide M&E markets will grow largely at a similar pace.

As the overall industry continues to grow, M&E professionals and customers – pretty much most of us – are scrambling to deal with ultra-high definition (UHD) video at 4K and 8K resolutions which is but one element of Ultra High Definition media. There are technology considerations for higher frame rates, higher visual depths, wider color gamut and high dynamic range, etc. 4K cinema video has almost 4.3 more pixels than standard HD TV (4K TV video is slightly lower, having only 4x more pixels than HD TV). While initial capture and final broadcast use compression, many of the editing, rendering, and special effects steps used to create our favorite TV shows and movies require dealing with uncompressed video streams, often in real-time. These uncompressed 4K streams cannot fit in an 8Gb or 10Gb pipe, and sometimes even exceed what even a 16Gb FC can do. This has influenced many media production customers to opt for 40/50/100 Gb/s networking, with an accompanying need for fast storage to match.

The industry is now looking at a new approach to the three decade old technology, with something that meets immediate challenge such as 4K/ UHD, while also enabling rapid adoption of additional new technologies. IP-based network that powers today’s data center and cloud is being considered as the suitable alternative to the existing proprietary SDI routers, coaxial cables and BNC connectors. Leading broadcasting companies such as BBC, FOX and NBC are realizing that migrating to an IP-based infrastructure will empower broadcasters to innovate in all the areas of content creation and distribution, multi-platform support and future video formats.  The move to next-gen IP based broadcast world is inevitable – thanks to the inefficient proprietary SDI fabric. This is even more evident with companies like BBC, FOX and NBC embracing their infrastructure using IP network. Mellanox end-to-end efficient broadcast network is radically changing the economics of broadcast applications including live sports coverage, production studios, data transport, content distribution and storage applications for broadcast professionals.

 

For live broadcasting, content distribution and post production alike, Mellanox’s leading IP-based technologies enrich the video experience by bringing the audience and content closer together. In addition, the SMTPE standard 2110 was established, giving a technology path and as part of helping to accelerate the migration to IP. The Professional Media Over Managed IP Networks, SMPTE ST2110, is a new standards suite that specifies the carriage, synchronization, and description of separate elementary essence streams over professional internet protocol (IP) networks in real-time for the purposes of live production, playout, and other professional media applications. The move from HD to 4K/UHD, 8K & HDR not only illustrates the necessity for absolute bandwidth, but also shows the inability of the current proprietary technology (SDI) & traditional Fibre Channel storage to deliver what customers crave, a more realistic entertainment experience. Driven by their need to have the underlying hardware innovate at their speed, the media & entertainment industry is now transitioning to a converged Ethernet fabric for both their applications and the storage, with an open standard that has been powering datacenters for decades while allowing innovation at a level never before realized.

 

Over the next few months, we will be delving into the solutions, technologies, innovations and customers who are driving the M&E industry forward. From 4K coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics and celebrating 90 years of innovation with the Oscars, to what happens with an award winning film Company outgrows its technology and how the first electronic gaming company in Turkey, is providing games of chance and sports betting games through multiple web, we’ll be taking Our Interconnected Planet on another journey, this one into the world of entertainment. Come join us and learn more about the technology and solutions behind the glitz and glamour that make showbiz so compelling to billions of viewers around the globe.

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2017 A Year of Change: How Mellanox Helped Move The Needle in Earth Sciences, Medical Research and More

Early in July, Mellanox announced “Our Interconnected Planet,” a series of blogs and articles focusing on the progress and advancements of research and science. Since then, the series has been exploring the impact of technology on global issues. Behind every large-scale issue, we find technology seeking a solution and Mellanox is driven to leverage our networking solutions to improve the human condition and our planet. Our exploration of how Mellanox is changing the world has already taken us many places. We traveled everywhere; from the frigid ice shelfs of Antarctica and the even colder far reaches of outer space, to considerably warmer waters of the Great Barrier Reef. We experienced a mind blowing total eclipse and bid a bittersweet farewell to Cassini after its two decade mission studying Saturn. We pondered the notion of finding proof of life outside of earth, and with the aid of Artificial Intelligence pushed the boundaries of research in multiple scientific disciplines ranging from turbulence and climate change to finding cures for cancers and rare diseases.

We also made our way into other worlds, looking at research and advancements in many other disciplines. Highlights include:

Along the way, one thing has been consistent: Mellanox has been there every step of the way. From interconnecting and accelerating the compute power that enabled scientists to figure out that yes, they indeed we actually listening to two black holes colliding, to enabling the research towards understanding climate change and the impact of global warming. Mellanox is also a part of the vital work being done at Stanford, including that of one researcher devoted to helping improve the odds of babies born with congenial heart defects.

And there are many, many more compelling articles already posted during 2017, showcasing new discoveries, new methodologies and techniques how Mellanox’s InfiniBand and Ethernet solutions are changing the world and allowing research and technology to advance. And, as we look forward towards 2018, Mellanox will continue its partnerships with the data scientists and the end-users that depend upon innovative solutions to accelerate their research and find answers to the many unanswered questions that drive their research. Please journey along with us as we continue to discover even more about Our Interconnected Planet.

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Quest for the Cure, Medical Advancements with Mellanox

In the time that it takes me to write this blog, a scant hour, another 30 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Each year, it is estimated that more than 246,660 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and that more than 40,000 will die. The odds are sobering, approximately one in eight women in the U.S., will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In the Bay Area, the odds can be far more alarming, up to 20 percent higher than the national average.

As we enter October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, I can think of no better time to introduce a new topic to Our Interconnected Planet. Thus far, we’ve been focusing on how Mellanox solutions impact research in earth and planetary sciences. We would now like to add medical and health issues to the mix, taking our journey into the realm of medical research, health and advancements in both that improve the human condition, all with the help of Mellanox solutions.

Overall, the medical field continues to make strides, progressing in diagnosing, treating and the ultimate quest to cure cancer which remains the second leading cause of death in the U.S. For starters, women are beating breast cancer and joining the ranks of the 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. Further, breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. have been decreasing since 2000, after increasing for the previous two decades. They dropped by 7 percent from 2002 to 2003 alone.

Immunotherapy is one fast growing area of cancer research that is helping to improve survival rates. It involves developing therapies that use a patient’s own immune system to fight and kill cancer. The HER2 protein is overexpressed in nearly 25 percent of all breast cancer tumors and is associated with an aggressive for of the disease and poor prognosis. Researchers have shown that immune cells are less able to recognize and target cancer cells that express HER2 as breast cancer progresses into a more advanced and invasive stage. This suggests that strategies that can re-stimulate the immune system to recognize and target HER2 early during cancer development may be effective treatment options.

What all this boils down to is that researchers around the world are hard at work on vaccines for both secondary and primary prevention. All of this takes massive amounts of computational power, an area where Mellanox excels. In fact, all sorts of medical breakthroughs are possible. A group of researchers at the Center for Genome Architecture at Baylor College of Medicine used Mellanox to help collect the 1.2 billion letter genome of the West Nile virus. This has enabled scientists to come up with better ways to combat the deadly disease. According to Olga Dudchenko, post-doctoral fellow at Baylor, “Taking advantage of IBM POWER8 and Mellanox InfiniBand connect, we are now able to change the way we assemble a genome.”

This represents a game changer for researchers tackling the cancers and other diseases of the world. Stanford, a partner of Mellanox using our InfiniBand solutions, continues to make strides in the use immunotherapy for curing cancer. Another Mellanox partner, NVIDIA, has teamed with the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and several national laboratories on an initiative to accelerate cancer research with their power supercomputer based on the DGX-1 design, known as “SATURN-V”.  The initiative Cancer Moonshot aims to deliver a decade of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment in just five years. The research efforts include a focus on building an Artificial Intelligence framework called CANDLE (Cancer Distributed Learning Environment), which will provide a common discovery platform that brings the power of AI to the fight against cancer.  Bottom line, Mellanox delivers the high performance interconnect for the “SATURN-V” system.

Dell and TGen are tackling pediatric cancer head on. Previously, an individual patient’s RNA analysis took seven days. Along with TGen and Dell, we had the modest goal to try and reduce that to five days knowing that with children in particular, even a day could mean the difference between life and death. Mellanox’s InfiniBand reduced the RNA-Sequence data analysis time for patients to only one hour! From seven excruciating days to just one hour. This accomplishment is at the heart of how Mellanox technology is going to help crush pediatric cancer.

An alarming 38.5 percent of people will have to fight some form of cancer in their lifetime. That means cancer touches everyone either directly or via a close family member. It also means that it is a priority for the medical field in general as they collectively drive relentlessly toward a cure.

A few years ago, I was at a charity event for HERs Breast Cancer Foundation that was honoring Dr. Mark Pegram, the first director of the Breast Cancer Oncology Program at Stanford Women’s Cancer Center. He is also the co-director of Stanford’s Molecular Therapeutics Program. I wanted to know – I think we all want to know – when will there be a cure for breast cancer? He told me, and I will never forget this, that the goal was to create a cure, a vaccine that will prevent breast cancer. Imagine, our children and our grandchild never knowing the fear of getting cancer or the horrors of fighting for their lives the way so many of us have. Imagine that we are the last generation to fear the big C.

So, with this hope and goal in mind, please follow along as we explore the lifesaving research and advancements in the field of medical and health.

 

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Catching Fire: The Science Behind The Burn

Today is September 11th, a day none of us will never forget. We continue to honor the fallen brothers, the heroes of 911.  This is also the perfect day to highlight the important research being done by NIST, The National Institute of Standards and Technology, Fire Research Division. They did exhaustive research and issued extensive reports on the World Trade Center disaster post 911.

Closer to home, in 2015, a home fire was reported every 86 seconds and a civilian fire related death occurred every 20 hours and 40 minutes. In addition, 68,085 firefighter injuries were reported in 2015. Given these facts, it is scarcely a surprise that fire is an area of much scientific research and interest.

All of this is why we should all be grateful for the work being done by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The mission of NIST Fire Research Division is to develop, verify, and utilize measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment. It’s scientific research at its finest because, at its core, this research literally saves lives. Mellanox has installed our FDR switches with the NIST as they research to discover new and safer ways to fight blazes. Mellanox’s solution of InfiniBand switches deliver the highest performance and port density with complete fabric management solutions to enable compute clusters and converged data centers to operate at any scale while reducing operational costs and infrastructure complexity. In part, because of our solutions, researchers at the NIST are able to stick to the business of fire research; running complex analytics and experimental data over a robust data center  ̶  all with the goal of ultimately saving lives and protecting property.

In speaking with fire researchers at the NIST, it turns out that they develop software named the Fire Dynamics Simulator that engineers and architects the world over can use to help fire prevention and to better understand fire behavior in buildings. This software, improved daily, encompasses fire modeling which means that while designing a building, engineers and architects can best place sprinklers to combat any fire that may happen. Moreover, they can also learn from simulations how fire and smoke will behave in a specific structure. A second piece of software that NIST calls Smokeview visualizes the results of the fire modeling software, a powerful visual tool that enables professionals to visually understanding the complex behavior of fire and smoke. And with the additional computer capacity they recently obtained, NIST researchers plan on modeling larger cases and performing simulations more often.

Check out this simulation of methane burning. Despite needing about 20 million grid cells, the computation is made practical by using just 1 CPU core for each of 128 meshes meaning such a complicated simulation takes about one day to run. Simulations such as these used to take the computational power of a massive supercomputer. These days, because of solutions like those from Mellanox, a moderately sized network can handle the demands. And it is cases like this that helps NIST justify the use of a fast network to communicate results between meshes. Cases like this to investigate combustion algorithms. There are also simulations of smoke and fire that show investigators how fire behaves.

I confess that this important research is intensely personal to me. My partner is an assistant fire chief with a large metropolitan fire department in Virginia. Over the span of his career, he has had burning roofs crash in on him and even had a house explode just as he stepped outside the kill zone. The force of that blast flung him yards like a rag doll as rubble rained down. It was later described to me as a fiery inferno from hell. He has pulled countless victims out of burning buildings and successfully resituated beloved family pets. The worst times have been when he has had to tell a parent that a child has died, nothing is worse, nothing comes close.

And even with the heart-breaking heroism of 911 forever etched in our hearts, it is precisely because of the quiet, determined valor and bravery associated with firefighters, the reason they remain mostly unsung. Burning roofs, exploding houses, restarting a heart, saving beloved puppies…just another day at the office for the more than 1,160, 000 brotherhood who put their lives on the line every day.

The work being done by the NIST is welcome news. Knowing that there is on-going research to assist firemen and professionals in better understanding how smoke and fire behave means they can put out blazes faster and with less personal risk. It is programs like these that are helping to advance knowledge in how fire behaves and make buildings safer while saving more lives and protecting property.

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Once in 99 Years, The Eclipse of (Nearly) a Century

Come next Monday, Aug. 21, the world will be focused on a swath of the United States about 70 miles wide. Over the course of 90 or so minutes, the shadow of the Moon will careen across the United States at supersonic speeds (2,400 mph), and cross the entire country from just north of Newport, Oregon, to just beyond McClellanville, South Carolina. See map. It will be entirely contained within the continental U.S., unlike the last solar eclipse in America (1918!) that tippled across a couple of Bahamian islands. If you are curious as to how the eclipse will appear in your neck of the woods, you can type in your zip code and watch the simulation.

If you happen to be fortunate enough to be in Nashville, TN, that city represents the eclipse’s sweet spot; where people will get the best view. They will experience more than two minutes of the event, which is a once in a lifetime experience for any eclipse. If you lucky enough to find yourself anywhere in the eclipse’s path, watch for surreal things including: silver colors, the sudden vanishing of breezes, the rapid onset of darkness as the Moon’s umbral (inner) shadow arrives, false twilight and narrow shadows. Can you hear the theme song from the Twilight Zone…?

This particular eclipse has astronomers and researchers running full tilt for their telescopes and supercomputers because it is very rare that eclipses have such a long, uninterrupted pathway across a single mass of land. That longevity is what is going to permit the kind of intensive scientific research that scientists live for – if they are lucky enough to experience it even once in their career. This eclipse, for astronomers, promises to be a game changer.

For Monday’s event, scientists are going to be studying a myriad of phenomena.  They will be trying to gain a better understanding of the complex relationship between the sun’s magnetic field and its corona which might help us take better precautions against the dangers of anomalous space weather.  Another set of scientists are actually going to be flying in a gulf stream jet that’s been modified to perform high altitude atmospheric research, complete with computers on board and a telescope pointed out the window. While cruising into the eclipse path above Kentucky, researchers are hoping to image the corona in infrared light. This is not possible from land-based observations because our atmosphere’s water absorbs a lot of infrared light. Since this has to be done from a moving high-altitude observatory anyway, in this case, a jet, their velocity actually adds a precious minute to the time they will be able to observe the event.

And it’s not just astronomers who are getting in the act. The Citizen CATE (Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse) Experiment has the goal of capturing images of the inner solar corona using a network of more than 60 telescopes operated by citizen scientists, high school groups and universities. The goal of CATE is to produce a scientifically unique data set: a high-resolution, rapid cadence white light images of the inner corona for 90 minutes.

All of this is exciting enough for the Science channel to dedicate resources and broadcast the event live so if you are not studying space weather, chasing the eclipse from the upper atmosphere, or spending the day in Nashville, you can still experience this history as it unfolds.

After all this excitement dies down, the real work begins with Big Data analysis, complex calculations and algorithms and this is where Mellanox comes in. Many of our customers, such as the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), support thousands of researchers with high performance computing capabilities. Imagine one day not so long ago at SDSC, while they were running LIGO (laser interferometer wave observatory). LIGO’s mission is to try and detect gravity waves as they come from space through earth. Suddenly, they detected an anomalous wave and suspected it was actually the result of two black holes colliding; but how to prove such a profound notion?  Such a phenomenon had never even been detected before and the algorithms required to sort this out required large-scale computing capabilities. SDSC’s Supercomputer Comet, with Mellanox’s virtual cluster interface, was the answer. The need to support parallel applications and parallel computations in a virtual environment was solved through the use of single root IO virtualization (SR-IOV) which was developed by Mellanox. Basically, this solution allows computation to go directly from the network to the virtual machine, without passing go, or collecting $200. This translated into the same high performance as running on the bare metal hardware. And by leveraging Mellanox technology to offload all of the network processing, the virtual CPUs could spend all of their time sorting out the question posed by scientists, was it really two black holes colliding?  The interstellar event was recreated by scientists virtually through simulation in their own lab and the results were groundbreaking. An exact correlation between the observed and simulated signals allowed scientists to determine that yes, the origin of the wave actually came from two black holes colliding. More here.

As I follow along and witness this amazing, once in 99-year event, my thoughts will be trained not only on the skies above where this amazing astronomical event will take place, but I will also be thinking about the hard work, the analysis and potential discoveries that will be realized back here on earth, knowing that this is where Mellanox has made, and will continue to make, a profound difference in the scientific community and Our Interconnected Planet.

We also have a fun video about astronomical discovery to make your day:

 

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Our Interconnected Planet: The Real Superheroes

Comic-Con is a huge deal. Tickets are sold out months in advance and people wait for a long time to attend. It’s all about super heroes at Comic-Com which got me thinking about real world super heroes and how they are so integral to Our Interconnected Planet. Scientist, doctors, researchers, innovators…those are the real-life heroes. At Mellanox, we have long been providing end-to-end networking solutions that are helping true-life superheroes, including helping the climate researchers who are working to prevent disasters.

Mellanox provided the connectivity for the first European Petaflop Computer in Julich, Germany. JUROPA (Juelich Research on Petaflop Architectures) is being used Pan-European by more than 200 research groups to run their data-intensive applications. The system supports advanced research in many disciplines including climate research. Mellanox case study and HPC testimonial.

In addition, the NSAN NASA Ames Research Center selected the Mellanox EDR InfiniBand solutions and the new HPE SGI 8600 liquid cooled platform to expand their “Electra” supercomputing cluster with next generation interconnect and processor technology. This system expansion leverages Mellanox In-Network Computing technology that enables smart offloading, to achieve highest level of applications performance and efficiency. Mission critical research is being conducted on a variety of scientific and engineering projects including coupled atmosphere-ocean models  ̶  critical to our climate   ̶  along with future space vehicle design and large-scale dark matter halos and galaxy evolution. Find out more.

The Centre for High Performance Computing in South Africa, also chose Mellanox HPC to enhance and unlock the vast potential of its system. They provide high end computational resources to a broad range of users in fields such as bioinformatics, climate research, material sciences, and astronomy. They are the biggest HPC facility on the African continent doing vital research on the climate. Check out their thoughts on the Mellanox system they installed here.

And not to be outdone, the San Diego Supercomputer Center has the admirable goal of supporting at least 10,000 scientists and researchers. They supply high performance resources to the national scientific community and are conducting research in multiple disciplines. One effort has led to a breakthrough discovery regarding gravitational waves which in turn led to the discovery of two black holes colliding. Imagine what else they can accomplish, including helping climatologists with their research. The offload capabilities of Mellanox HPC technology has been critical to the success of their supercomputing work. Essentially, by leveraging Mellanox offloading network architecture allows the processors can spend all of their time on a science question not on a communication question; just where scientists need their processing power to be. More here.

Finally, the DKRZ in Germany is providing high performance computing platforms, sophisticated and high capacity data management, and superior service for premium climate science based on Mellanox HPC solutions. Scientists are conducting climate research and  able to simulate anthropogenic influences on climate systems. Anthropogenic climate refers to the production of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. A hotly debated topic, climate change and greenhouse gasses have been in the news recently. DKRZ offers its users a comprehensive hard- and software infrastructure, specifically customized for complex experiments with numerical models associated with a climate system. In order to meet the very data-intensive requirements of climate modelers, the DKRZ system stands out from many other high-performance computers by having an especially large and powerful parallel file system that is interconnected by high-performance network components from Mellanox.

And coming up? A great blog about the amazing climate research work being done at another Mellanox HPC cluster, this one at the University of Alaska so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we have a great video that tells the story of climate change and research:

 

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Exploring Our Interconnected Planet

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the day man landed on the moon 48 years ago. I was very young, to be sure, but I remember it was televised (yes, in black and white). Even as a small child, I knew it was a historically pivotal moment in history.

Today we celebrate Moon Day to commemorate the day man first walked on the moon in 1969. Neil Armstrong stepped on the lunar surface first, followed by Buzz Aldrin. Together, they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material to bring back to Earth. It was an event watched by millions on live TV, and everyone remembers Armstrong’s iconic words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Listen

While their exploration took place on the moon, the impact felt back on Earth was profound. This is why Mellanox has chosen today to announce “Our Interconnected Planet,” a series that will explore the impact of technology on global issues. Behind every large-scale issue, we find technology seeking a solution. Mellanox is driven to leverage our networking solutions to improve the human condition and our planet. From the Earth and Planetary Sciences, Human Disease and Health, to Entertainment and beyond, we will take you on a journey to discover the technologies behind the progress and advancements in these disciplines.

Mellanox’s Director of Ethernet Marketing, Tim Lustig, wrote an inspiring blog post about the different ways our products can and are making the world a better place. And as part of Our Interconnected Planet, where we showcase real life examples of how Mellanox is making the world a better place, we are first going to highlight some of the amazing work being done by the researchers and scientists at the University of Alaska.

In January 2017 (with support from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Geophysical Institute, UAF vice chancellor of research, UAF International Arctic Research Center, and UAF IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) UAF Research Computing Systems engineers deployed Mellanox InfiniBand solutions across multiple racks to form their HPC system. So, what are they doing at the University of Alaska with all that data center power? Well, one of the main missions of the the mission of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is to understand basic geophysical processes governing the planet Earth, especially as they occur in or are relevant to Alaska. With a motto of “Drive the Change” the University of Alaska is focused on driving positive change for their state. Along with Mellanox, the University of Alaska is making a difference. We encourage you to come along and explore Our Interconnected Planet with us through the research being done by the scientific community, as well as advancements in the field of medicine and entertainmen

Want to know how we’re helping the University of Alaska take on ice shelves? Sign up for our newsletter. We’ll tell you all about our work with the University of Alaska, Our Interconnected Planet and more!

 

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Making a Difference at Mellanox

Recently, while reflecting upon my one year anniversary with Mellanox, I realized how this company I have grown to care for in such a short time is not only a great interconnect company, but how it is also so much more.  In so many ways, our products continue to change the world and make it a better place.  This Saturday, Mellanox will be participating in a local charity event that I hold near and dear to my heart; HERs Breast Cancer Foundation’s “People With Purpose”. This is local Silicon Valley charity supports women that are healing from breast cancer by providing post-surgical products and services regardless of their financial status. Not only has Mellanox become a supporter and contributor to HERs, I also realized that our networking products and solutions are driving research that we hope will ultimately cure many diseases, cancer included.  If one considers that one in eight women in the U.S. will battle breast cancer in their lifetime (and that number is much higher in the Bay Area), this is truly a worthy cause.

And we continue to push the boundaries of technology to do so much more for efforts just like this.

Stanford, for example, is making great progress in the area of immunotherapy for curing cancer. Mellanox is very proud to support the HPCAC Advisory Council along with Stanford to provide an annual event that focuses on HPC, Artificial Intelligence and other advancements with technology that we believe will ultimately be that fast track to the very research that may one day help cure cancer. Stanford is a world leading cancer research institution and their Cancer Immunotherapy Program is finding new ways to harness the immune system to fight cancer. The program includes physician scientists working across multiple cancer types to develop innovative treatments and delivery mechanisms with the potential to provide durable, robust cancer immune responses. And their efforts are making progress: patient-specific vaccines and cell-based therapies that incite a patient’s own immune defenses to attack cancer; new targets for today’s therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; and the potential of cytokines and other effector molecules as therapeutic agents.

Another industry partner, NVIDIA, has teamed with the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and several national laboratories on an initiative to accelerate cancer research with their power supercomputer based on the DGX-1 design, known as “SATURN-V”.  The initiative — known as the Cancer Moonshot — aims to deliver a decade of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment in just five years. The research efforts include a focus on building an Artificial Intelligence framework called CANDLE (Cancer Distributed Learning Environment), which will provide a common discovery platform that brings the power of AI to the fight against cancer.  And best of all?  Mellanox delivers the high performance interconnect for the “SATURN-V” system. We are humbled and proud to be a part of the technology that we are providing from our HPC product line that is able to pipe the amount of data this system can ingest and egress.

Another great project is our work with Dell and TGen to tackle pediatric cancer head on.  Previously, an individual patient’s RNA analysis took seven days.  Along with TGen and Dell, we had the modest goal to try and reduce that to five days knowing that with children in particular, even a day could mean the difference between death and survival. Well, Mellanox’s InfiniBand reduced the RNA-Sequence data analysis time for patients to only one hour! From seven excruciating days to just one hour. This accomplishment is at the heart of how Mellanox technology is going to help crush pediatric cancer.

Shortly before I joined Mellanox, the Company announced that the HPC4Health Consortium, led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, selected our InfiniBand interconnect solutions to improve patient care and help researchers to optimize treatment with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for cancer. InfiniBand adopted as the foundation of the center’s cancer and genomics program, to accelerate the sharing, processing and analysis of data generated from radiology imaging, medical imaging analysis, protein folding, x-ray diffraction in order to improve patient care and expedite cancer research.

And the good work doesn’t end there. Just last week, led by researchers from The Center for Genome Architecture (TC4GA) at Baylor College of Medicine, it was announced that they were using technologies from IBM, Mellanox and NVIDIA to assemble the 1.2 billion letter genome of the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, which carries West Nile virus. The new genome can help enable scientists to better combat West Nile virus by identifying vulnerabilities in the mosquito that the virus uses to spread.

All of this illustrates that Mellanox has a long and successful history of developing industry-leading interconnect technology that enables the world’s fastest supercomputers to solve some of the most complex problems. I think Gilad Shainer, our vice president of marketing, summed up our work with Baylor College of Medicine most eloquently: “Our collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine to get VOLTRON fully operational and its groundbreaking results in genome assembly will help provide the most efficient platform to enhance research and future product development. Today, scalable compute and storage systems suffer from data bottlenecks that limit research, product development and constrain application services. With high performance computing, combined with lightning fast Mellanox interconnect technology, we overcome bottlenecks in the transfer of data from storage and the file system to the compute cluster, as well as RDMA to avoid multiple copies of the sequencing data, will help lead the way toward making such genomic assembly and analysis mainstream.”

 

So this brings us full circle to HERs. On April 1st, 6:00 p.m., HERs will host its 2nd Annual “Pink Tie Gala” at the Castlewood Country Club, in Pleasanton; an elegant evening event celebrating “People With Purpose”.  You can still sign up to attend this worthy event or even contribute as a virtual attendee: http://hersbreastcancerfoundation.org/people-with-purpose/. If you do attend, I encourage you to stop by the Mellanox table and meet some of our great employees who are, like all of Mellanox, determined to make a difference and with our amazing technology, which is changing the world for the better.

 

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OFC Showcasing Mellanox Connectivity 

New Solution Enables Direct Connection Between 25Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ports in Hyperscale Web 2.0, Cloud and Enterprise Networks

Mellanox will be exhibiting at the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC), March 21-23, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, booth no. 3715. At the show, we will be showcasing live demonstrations of our 100Gb/s end-to-end switching, network adapter and copper and optical cables and transceivers solutions. We will also be demonstrating interoperability of the Mellanox Silicon Photonics 100Gb/s PSM4 with Innolight, AOI, Oclaro, and Hisense transceivers in both the Mellanox booth and in the adjacent Ethernet Alliance booth, no. 1709. In addition, we are introducing a new 100Gb/s version of the popular 40Gb/s Quad to Serial Adapter (QSA) to serve the growing demand of hyperscale Web 2.0, cloud and enterprise networks. The new 100Gb/s QSA plugs into any QSFP28 port and coverts it to a 25Gb/s SFP28 port, allowing a direct connection with any 25Gb/s copper cable, active optical cable or optical transceiver that has the standard SFP28 connector.

This new solution provides customers with a practical way to switch between QSFP28 and SFP ports. Customers love the flexibility of having a server with a QSFP28 port on the adapter, plugging in our QSA, and using it with a 25G copper cable immediately. Soon, they will also be able to remove the QSA and use the original QSFP28 with a 50G or 100G cable, thereby doubling or quadrupling the available bandwidth to the server.

Like the 40Gb/s QSA, the new 100Gb/s QSA works for all three of the major types of interconnects; direct attach copper cables (DACs), active optical cables (AOCs), and, optical transceivers.

Just last week, Mellanox announced that it has shipped more than 100,000 Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables and more than 200,000 optical transceiver modules for 100Gb/s networks, confirming the market demand and the Company’s high volume manufacturing leadership for 100Gb/s interconnect products.

Mellanox demos for the show include:

  • Live demonstration of 100Gb/s QSA
  • 200Gb/s silicon photonics demonstration
  • Spectrum SN2700, SN2410 and SN2100 100Gb/s QSFP28/ SFP28 switches
  • ConnectX®-4 and ConnectX-5 25G/50G/100Gb/s QSFP28/SFP28 network adapters
  • LinkX 25G/50G/100Gb/s DAC & AOC cables and 100G SR4 & PSM4 transceivers
  • New Quantum switches with 40 ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28 in 1RUchassis
  • New ConnectX-6 adapters with two ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28
  • Silicon Photonics Optical engines and components

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Mellanox 2016: The Year In Review, Part II

‘Fantastical’ Networking Achievements and Where To Find Them Part II

In Part I of this look back on 2016, we covered the amazing accomplishments in Enterprise Data Centers, LinkX®, SoC, Cloud and more. Now, in Part II, we will delve into the many accomplishments in HPC, AI, and InfiniBand.

2016 was the year that Mellanox announced 200Gb/s HDR InfiniBand Solutions with record levels of performance and scalability. As the world’s first 200Gb/s data center interconnect solutions, Mellanox ConnectX®-6 adapters, Quantum switches and LinkX® cables and transceivers together provide a complete 200Gb/s HDR InfiniBand interconnect infrastructure for the next generation of high performance computing, machine learning, big data, cloud, web 2.0 and storage platforms accelerating the next generation of data centers.

It was also a year for awards and recognitions with Mellanox Technologies receiving six HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards at the Supercomputing Conference. Mellanox  was honored with six HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards spanning a variety of categories and acknowledge the company’s achievements in delivering high-performance interconnect technology that enables the highest performance, most efficient compute and storage platforms. Mellanox Vice President of Marketing, Gilad Shainer, received an award for outstanding leadership in HPC for his individual contributions, including his eight years of service as Chairman of the HPC Advisory council and his role in the development of Co-Design architecture, to the community over the course of his career.

As we continue to push the boundaries of technology, Mellanox announced a new line of InfiniBand router systems, expanding data center scalability and enabling infrastructure flexibility. The EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand router systems provide superior performance to HPC, Cloud, Web 2.0 and Enterprise applications. The new EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand Routers enable a new level of scalability critical for the next generation of mega data-center deployments as well as expanded capabilities for data center isolations between different users and applications. Some great coverage can be found: LINK

And not to be outdone by breakthrough products and multiple awards, Mellanox solutions also accelerated the world’s fastest supercomputer at the supercomputing center in Wuxi, China. The new number one supercomputer delivers 93 Petaflops (three times higher compared to the previous top system), connecting nearly 41 thousand nodes and more than ten million CPU cores. The offloading architecture of the Mellanox interconnect solution is the key to providing world leading performance, scalability and efficiency, connecting the highest number of nodes and CPU cores within a single supercomputer.

Other milestones included Mellanox and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announcing a joint collaboration to design an Exascale system, the University of Tokyo selecting Mellanox EDR Infiniband to accelerate its newest supercomputer and the announcement of the ConnectX-5, the next generation of 100G InfiniBand and Ethernet smart interconnect adapter.

In other technology arenas, Mellanox continued to drive machine learning and artificial intelligence to new heights. This is an area where both our Ethernet and Infiniband outshine the competition. For example, Mellanox is the sole InfiniBand interconnect provider for NVIDIA’s deep learning solution and our 50GbE is the only solution driving Facebook’s OCP-based Big Sur platform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ayGJDO6PKU. We also received an award from Baidu for Technology Leadership that is helping drive that company to new levels of machine learning. We joined forces with JD.com to drive e-commerce artificial intelligence. And we helped move the needle on Artificial Intelligence speech recognition with our 25G/100G Ethernet solutions at iFLYTEK, one of China’s leading intelligent speech and language technologies’ companies. By choosing Mellanox’s end-to-end 25G and 100G Ethernet solutions based on ConnectX adapters and Spectrum™ switches for their next generation machine learning center, iFLYTEK can now achieve a high speech recognition rate of 97 percent.

HPC and AI were not the only markets where Mellanox dominated in 2016. In June, the NVM Express Organization released version 1.0 of the NVM Express over Fabrics (NVMf) Standard. NVMf allows the new high performance SSD interface, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), to be connected across RDMA-capable networks like Infiniband and RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet).. This is the first new, built from the ground up, networked storage technology to be developed in over 20 years. Coupled with new Ethernet and InfiniBand speeds of 100Gb/s, NVMf will not only dramatically improve the performance of existing storage network applications, but will also accelerate the adoption of many new and future computer technologies like Scale-out and Software Defined Storage, Hyperconverged Infrastructure, and Compute/Storage disaggregation. Just a few short months later, Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, and Mellanox previewed the industry’s first resource pooling solution based on NVM Express® over Fabrics (NVMe-oF™) at HUAWEI CONNECT 2016. According to test statistics, the solution delivers higher storage bandwidth and performance, and boosts the random read/write performance by at least 2,000 times compared with the traditional SAS solution. Now, that’s progress!

Without telling any tales out of school, we can still let everyone know that 2017 at Mellanox promises to bring even more amazing breakthrough technologies and solutions so stay tuned and continue to check out our Mellanox blogs.