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Gen-Z Consortium Showcases World’s First Gen-Z Multi-Vendor Technology Demonstration for Memory-Centric Computing

08/08

Positioned to Enable Future Data Centers, Gen-Z Consortium Continues to Gain Industry Support, Doubling Its Member Base Since Inception

FLASH MEMORY SUMMIT, Santa Clara, CA – Aug 8, 2017 – The Gen-Z Consortium, an organization developing an open systems interconnect designed to provide high-speed, low latency, memory-semantic access to data and devices, today announced the world’s first Gen-Z multi-vendor technology demonstration, connecting compute, memory, and I/O devices at Flash Memory Summit, Santa Clara, August 8-10. Gen-Z technology enables increased performance and scalability for existing enterprise applications and future memory-centric computing applications.

The demonstration utilizes FPGA-based Gen-Z adapters connecting compute nodes to memory pools through a Gen-Z switch, creating a fabric connecting multiple server vendors and a variety of memory vendors. The multi-vendor participation reflects strong industry support for Gen-Z and showcases how future data centers can leverage this technology to attain a unified, high-performance and scalable fabric/interconnect. Additionally, a separate demonstration will show the scalable prototype connector defined by the Gen-Z Consortium, running at 112 giga-transfers/sec.

“At Bloomberg, we provide information that powers the global capital markets and our customers depend on us to quickly deliver accurate data, despite exponentially increasing volumes,” said Justin Erenkrantz, head of compute architecture for the finance, media and tech company based in New York City. “Gen-Z’s memory-centric standards-based approach will allow us to bring even more powerful analytics to our customers through a distributed memory and compute fabric.”

“We are excited to showcase the first technology demonstration of Gen-Z that includes solutions from multiple member companies, including a variety of servers, memory and I/O devices, all connected with a Gen-Z fabric,” said Kurtis Bowman, President of the Gen-Z Consortium. “The consortium continues to meet the planned development schedule and we expect to see initial Gen-Z products in the 2019-2020 timeframe.  As an open consortium, we encourage all companies to join us in our collaborative effort to develop the architecture and products that will provide the performance required for housing and analyzing the incredible amount of information coming into the data center.”

The Gen-Z Consortium has doubled its member base since inception and now includes more than 40 companies. It has released four draft specifications to date, all of which are available openly on its website: Gen-Z Core Specification, SFF 8639 2.5” Connector Specification, SFF 8639 2.5” Compact Connector Specification, and Gen-Z Scalable Connector Specification. To watch the world’s first Gen-Z demonstration, please visit the Gen-Z Consortium booth #739 at the Flash Memory Summit, August 8-10. To see what member companies are saying about Gen-Z at FMS 2017, visit the website here.

 Supporting Resources: 

 About Gen-Z Consortium

Gen-Z is an open systems interconnect designed to provide memory semantic access to data and devices via direct-attached, switched or fabric topologies. The Gen-Z Consortium is made up of leading computer industry companies dedicated to creating and commercializing a new data access technology. The consortium’s 12 initial members were; AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx with that list expanding as reflected on our Member List.

The Gen-Z Consortium strongly believes in developing an open ecosystem where members, the broader industry, and customers can work together to deliver robust, high-quality specifications that meet solution needs. The Gen-Z Consortium will periodically publicly post draft specifications and technical concepts to elicit input from the broader industry and directly from customers. For more information visit www.genzconsortium.org.

Member Quotes – Flash Memory Summit 2017

08/08

PRESS RELEASE – Supporting Member Quotes

Gen-Z Consortium Showcases World’s First Gen-Z Multi-Vendor Technology Demonstration for Memory-Centric Computing

Cavium
Gen-Z architecture aims at reducing load on CPU, by using the Gen-Z scalable high performance, low latency, memory-semantic fabric technology that can be used to communicate to every device in the system by simplifying data access at rack scale,” said Gopal Hegde, VP/GM Data Center Processor Group, Cavium. “Cavium along with its partners was one of the first to demonstrate an early implementation of the Gen-Z interconnect on its ThunderX2 ARM server. The high performance memory semantic fabric addresses the challenges of explosive data growth by providing a peer to peer interconnect, which is designed to access large volume of data while lowering overall cost & avoiding bottle necks thereby meeting the needs of advanced workloads & real time analytics.”

Dell EMC
“I’m very encouraged with the progress the Gen-Z Consortium has made in less than a year. The multi-vender demo and new 112GT/s connector shows the power of collaboration of the best minds in the industry to accelerate innovation in computing platforms,” said Robert Hormuth, Dell EMC Server CTO.

HPE
“The consortium has doubled its diverse member base since our formation only eight months ago, evidence of strong industry support for collaboratively advancing open standards to address industry challenges,” said Keith McAuliffe, VP & Chief Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “We’re proud of what we’re accomplishing together, demonstrating Gen-Z in action and publishing multiple open specifications to move the industry forward.”

IDT
“This demonstration represents another big step in the emergence of Gen-Z as a unified, rack-scale interconnect for memory, storage and compute in tomorrow’s data center,” said Sean Fan, Senior Vice President of IDT’s Computing and Communications Group. “By bringing an open standard approach to new computing models such as memory and storage pooling, the Gen-Z Consortium is enabling a new era of data movement and processing.”

IntelliProp
“IntelliProp is very excited to be part of the Gen-Z Consortium and to be participating with a demo of our Gen-Z Persistent Memory Controller at Flash Memory Summit. Gen-Z is poised to provide industry changing performance for enterprise and memory centric compute applications.”
– Hiren Patel, VP Business Development, IntelliProp Inc.

Mellanox Technologies
“The growing demands for faster data analysis mandates technology innovations and collaborations around open standards, to deliver the needed compute and storage infrastructures today and in the future,” Said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “The collaboration among companies within the Gen-Z Consortium will enable tighter technology development, and the design of efficient data centers in the future.”

Micron
“High-performance computing is reaching a critical inflection point. The growth of applications and devices that can harvest and use millions of points of information per day are creating an explosion in data. Making this data available and useful is critical to everything from business manufacturing processes to scientific research,” said Ryan Baxter, director of marketing for Micron’s Compute and Networking Business Unit. “Open memory standards like Gen-Z are a recognition that the pathways that high-performance compute uses to access memory must evolve to deliver the next generation of computing performance.”

Microsemi
“Data center machine learning and analytic workloads require ever greater scalability performance from computing, memory and storage infrastructure solutions. Gen-Z enables memory to scale with CPU performance, allows for a new level of resource pooling efficiency and will unleash the full potential of emerging storage class memory technology. Microsemi endorses the open Gen-Z standard and the industry wide innovation it can deliver. Our portfolio of fabric, data protection and security technologies positions Microsemi well to deliver Gen-Z product solutions.”
– Pete Hazen, Vice President and General Manager of Microsemi’s Scalable Storage Business Unit

Samsung
“Since being launched at the end of last year, the Gen-Z Consortium has made considerable progress with releases of core, connector and mechanical specifications,” said Chiwook Kim, Vice President of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics. “The demo at FMS’17 marks a major milestone towards a memory semantics fabric that will meet the requirements of new and existing computing workloads. Samsung is delighted to be part of the Consortium and its concerted efforts to establish an open industry standard.”

SK hynix
“In pursuit of enabling future memory technologies including storage class memory, SK hynix fully supports open standards like Gen-Z. Gen-Z introduces new opportunities to innovate memory system architecture and contribute to better scalable memory solutions.”
– Sunny Khang, Vice President, Head of DRAM Product Planning & Enabling Office, SK hynix Inc.

TE Connectivity
“Our designs always strive to create real value for our customers. In this case “value” means significantly increasing architectural design flexibility by extending the distance high data rate signals can travel at a much lower system cost,” said Phil Gilchrist, CTO of Data and Devices at TE Connectivity. “Sliver is a highly versatile platform of connectors and cables that dramatically simplifies the way most components will connect, thereby reducing design risk and supply chain complexity for leading customers, and we are very pleased that COBO and Gen-Z have adopted it as a standard.”

Western Digital
“Persistent memory technologies promise to unlock huge new possibilities for managing mass data, particularly as it relates to in-memory databases, big data analytics and machine learning. Western Digital’s work with the Gen-Z Consortium, including the presentation of a first-of-its kind memory-centric technology demonstration at the Flash Memory Summit this week and collaboration with our ecosystem partners and customers to establish open standards for emerging technologies, underscores our ongoing commitment to driving the future of persistent memory.”
– Martin Fink, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Western Digital Corporation

Xilinx
“Xilinx is committed to open standards and GenZ is well positioned to address the convergence of memory and storage,” said Manish Muthal, Vice President, Data Center Business at Xilinx. “Xilinx products are used throughout the GenZ technology showcase at FMS, illustrating the capabilities of our All Programmable devices in modern data center architectures.”

Flash Memory Summit 2017

08/02

Gen-Z Consortium will have a lively presence at the Flash Memory Summit 2017.  Take a look at the event site, and plan to stop by our booth or join one of our speakers sessions to learn more about this emerging technology.

  • Event: Flash Memory Summit 2017
  • Date: August 8-10, 2017
  • Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA
  • Booth: 739

Members who are interested in participating in future Gen-Z Consortium industry outreach should reach out to our  Administrative Team for additional information.

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect

10/11

New Gen-Z Consortium to develop scalable, high-performance fabric technology aimed at simplifying data access at rack scale

BEAVERTON, OR, October 11, 2016 – A group of leading technology companies today announced the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today’s bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium Inc., Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, Microsemi, Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, SK hynix, Western Digital Corporation, and Xilinx.

Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.

Gen-Z provides the following benefits:

  • High Bandwidth, Low Latency: Simplified interface based on memory semantics, scalable from tens to several hundred GB/s of bandwidth, with sub-100 ns load-to-use memory latency.
  • Advanced Workloads and Technologies: Enables data centric computing with scalable memory pools and resources for real-time analytics and in-memory applications. Accelerates new memory and storage innovation.
  • Compatible and Economical: Highly software compatible with no required changes to the operating system. Scales from simple, low cost connectivity to highly capable, rack scale interconnect.

The Gen-Z Consortium, established by current board members AMD, ARM, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx, is an open, non-proprietary, transparent industry standards body. The consortium reflects a broader industry trend that recognizes the importance of open standards and their role in providing a level playing field to promote adoption, innovation and choice. The Gen-Z Consortium is accepting new members. The core specification, covering the architecture and protocol, will be finalized in late 2016. For more information visit www.genzconsortium.org.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Editorial contact
Rachael Watson
Nereus for Gen-Z
(503) 619-0856
rwatson@nereus-worldwide.com

See what Gen-Z Consortium’s Members are saying!

10/12

Membership in the Gen-Z  Consortium has put participating companies on an exciting path of development and collaboration.  See what they are saying:

AMD

  • “AMD is committed to open ecosystems for technology development and is excited to join the rest of the Gen-Z members today in announcing this significant step. The need for high-bandwidth, low-latency access to memory and storage as well as rack-scale composability in the datacenter is growing rapidly. Gen-Z is an advanced, modern protocol designed to deliver a high-performance, cross-platform solution that can serve its members and their customers far into the future.”
    Mark Papermaster, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President Technology and Engineering, AMD

ARM

  • “Modern data center and cloud workloads drive the need to efficiently integrate emerging memory and storage technologies to solve the challenges at rack-scale. Gen-Z offers a scalable approach to rack-scale sharing, enabling new use cases and system architectures. In concert with other standards bodies, Gen-Z is fostering collaboration between industry leaders to develop open standards that will enable choice and innovation in the data center.”
    Lakshmi Mandyam, Senior Marketing Director of Server Program, ARM
  • ARM Connected Community Blog

Cavium

  • “An open, democratic coherent connectivity standard that enables the next generation of scale and performance is needed in the industry. We are pleased to be a part of the Gen-Z consortium and to contribute to this next phase datacenter architecture. Gen-Z will allow our next generation servers, SoCs and network connectivity products to further accelerate the market trend toward application specific, heterogeneous deployments.”
    Gopal Hegde, VP/GM Datacenter Processor Group, Cavium

Dell EMC

  • “As the industry moves toward the 3rd platform new open innovations are required to enable infrastructure support of massive data, billions of IoT devices, and cloud native applications. Taking advantage of new storage class memories and enabling composability in a memory centric way will be critical as the control plane shifts toward memory computing. Gen-Z is an open industry standard that enables these innovations. Dell EMC is excited to be part of the Consortium that is developing this ground breaking open industry standard.”
    John Roese, EVP/CTO – Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell EMC
  • Dell Community Blog

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

  • “As data volumes continue to grow and the time to result of analytics become increasingly critical to our customer’s business, we need new architectures and technologies that can effectively process the information. HPE is committed to supporting open standards and working collaboratively to develop this new memory semantic fabric that meets the demands of the modern data center.”
    Mark Potter, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Enterprise Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • HPE Featured Article

Huawei

  • Huawei is committed to supporting development of industry open standards to explore IT system innovation and meet our customers’ needs on real-time and huge-volume data processing in big data era. Gen-Z is an open standard developed for high performance, and highly scalable memory system interconnect to enable flexible workloads support on big data analytics, and new technologies support such as storage class memory and memory centric computing.
    Zheng Yelai, President of Huawei’s IT Product Line

IBM

  • “The increased computing demands of artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics and other Cognitive Era workloads requires greater hardware performance and innovation. This increased demand, combined with the reduction in benefit from Moore’s Law, calls for a new set of open standards.  The combination of system-level acceleration via CAPI technology and now datacenter rack-level acceleration with Gen-Z can enable the industry to deliver much-desired breakthroughs in datacenter technology.”
    Brad McCredie, Fellow and Vice President of POWER Development, IBM

Integrated Device Technology

  • “As a leading provider of interconnect solutions for memory, storage and processor subsystems, IDT is pleased to work with the Gen-Z Consortium as a founding member to define a groundbreaking new standard that addresses the next generation of scalable data center architectures.  The convergence of the memory-storage hierarchy and need for a scalable interconnect that accelerates real time data analytics makes Gen-Z an exciting new alternative to the traditional set of disparate standards that exist today.”
    Sean Fan, Vice President and General Manager, Computing and Communications Division, Integrated Device Technology

Mellanox Technologies

  • “Mellanox endorses open collaborations that enable and enhance industry standards to meet the future needs of the data center, and, as such, is happy to be part of the Gen-Z consortium. Gen-Z can help to accelerate the communications between the processing units, the memory and the interconnect, enhancing the connectivity to both Ethernet and InfiniBand, and resulting in higher application performance and data center efficiency.”
    Gilad Shainer, Vice President of Marketing, Mellanox Technologies

Micron Technology, Inc.

  • “While memory has always been an essential building block for computing, it is quickly becoming the critical technology to unlocking next-generation performance. Because open standards present the best opportunity for rapid innovation, Gen-Z Consortium is an important step in ensuring that developing architectures can quickly adapt to capitalize on the dramatic benefits provided by new memory technologies.”
    Tom Eby, Vice President and GM Compute and Networking Business, Micron Technology, Inc.

Red Hat

  • “As scalable data access becomes increasingly important to the modern enterprise, Red Hat recognizes the need for a unifying, standard fabric that simplifies access to various types of memory and storage. Gen-Z intends to provide an open solution, and Red Hat is pleased to participate in this multi-vendor collaboration, especially as we expect operating systems will play a critical role in enabling this protocol within the datacenter.”
    Tim Burke, Vice President, Platform Technology, Red Hat

Samsung Electronics

  • “Data volumes have been growing at a tremendous pace and require new architecture or memory technologies for better scalability and efficiency. This new open standard memory semantics fabric could be a step towards the goal. As always, Samsung will continue to support open standards in pursuit of technological improvements.”
    Chiwook Kim, Vice President of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team, Samsung Electronics

SK hynix Inc.

  • “As the process node scaling limit causes slow-down of the evolution in current memory system infrastructure, Gen-Z is a solution that can greatly improve the scalability of memory solutions through evolutions of physical layer and media controller layer.”
    Boryeong Wi, Vice President, Head of DRAM Product Planning & Enabling Office, SK hynix Inc.

Western Digital Corporation

  • “The tremendous speed, endurance and capacity of Storage Class Memory offers the potential to transform the management of mass data for many years to come. We are proud to continue our long-standing commitment to Storage Class Memory and join the Gen-Z Consortium to develop industry standards that will support our ecosystem partners and customers in the adoption of this ground-breaking technology.”
    Steven Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Western Digital Corporation

Xilinx

  • “As we look towards the Zettabyte era, the challenges of data access, storage and processing is going to require new system architectures. At Xilinx, we are committed to open standards that will pave the way to the next generation datacenters. New memory and storage technologies are blurring the boundaries between them and this provides opportunities to rethink and revolutionize the traditional memory and storage hierarchies.”
    Gaurav Singh, Vice President of Architecture, Xilinx