Intel Omni-Path


Intel® Omni-Path Architecture (Intel® OPA) delivers the performance for tomorrow’s high performance computing (HPC) workloads and the ability to scale to tens of thousands of nodes—and eventually more—at a price competitive with today’s fabrics. The Intel OPA 100 Series product line is an end-to-end solution of PCIe adapters, silicon, switches, cables, and management software. As the successor to Intel True Scale Fabric, this optimized HPC fabric is built upon a combination of enhanced IP and Intel technology.

Current standards-based high performance fabrics were not originally designed for HPC, resulting in performance and scaling weaknesses that are currently impeding the path to Exascale computing. Intel Omni-Path Architecture is being designed specifically to address these issues and scale cost-effectively from entry level HPC clusters to larger clusters with 10,000 nodes or more.

Intel OPA is designed to provide the:

  • features and functionality at both the host and fabric levels to greatly raise levels of scaling
  • CPU and fabric integration necessary for the increased computing density, improved reliability, reduced power, and lower costs required by significantly larger HPC deployments
  • fabric tools to readily install, verify, and manage fabrics at this level of complexity

Intel Omni-Path Key Fabric Features and Innovations

Adaptive Routing

Adaptive Routing monitors the performance of the possible paths between fabric end-points and selects the least congested path to rebalance the packet load. While other technologies also support routing, Intel’s implementation is based on cooperation between the Fabric Manager and the switch ASICs.

Dispersive Routing

Instead of sending all packets from a source to a destination via a single path, Dispersive Routing distributes traffic across multiple paths. Once received, packets are reassembled in their proper order for rapid, efficient processing.

Traffic Flow Optimization

Traffic Flow Optimization optimizes the quality of service beyond selecting the priority—based on virtual lane or service level—of messages to be sent on an egress port. The key benefit is that Traffic Flow Optimization reduces the variation in latency seen through the network by high priority traffic in the presence of lower priority traffic.

Packet Integrity Protection

Packet Integrity Protection enables recovery of transient errors whether it is between a host and switch or between switches. This eliminates the need for transport level timeouts and end-to-end retries.

Dynamic Lane Scaling

Dynamic Lane Scaling allows an operation to continue even if one or more lanes of a 4x link fail, saving the need to restart or go to a previous checkpoint to keep the application running. The job can then run to completion before taking action to resolve the issue.

Intel Omni-Path is ideal for:

  • customers with price sensitivity
  • customers seeking either or a combination of the following:
    • high performance interconnect capability
    • well-established, legacy brand

As an Intel Platinum Partner, Advanced HPC ensures that customers enjoy the full breadth of Intel’s offerings and support.