Recently, Gen-Z representatives Kurtis Bowman, Gen-Z Consortium™ President, and Tim Symons, Gen-Z Consortium Marketing Co-Chair, participated in a fireside chat at DCD San Francisco. During the lively discussion, the two covered the topic of the missing ingredient to solving processing and power management challenges: disaggregation. You can watch the fireside chat on-demand here.
Audience members had several questions, and as time ran out, we were unable to address some of them. Following are the responses to your questions from the presentation:
Are there any updates on a PECFF Server Platform?
PECFF (PCIe® Enclosure Compatible Form Factor) was developed to optimize next-gen system design and to reduce solution cost and complexity. PECFF leverages PCIe CEM AIC mechanical infrastructure, while providing a path to 112 GT/s performance. Samtec has developed a scalable PECFF emulation platform that simplifies SI testing of signals via Gen-Z Scalable Connectors and top-edge connectivity. Watch our recent webinar “Real World Applications of PECFF for Increased Performance and Disaggregation” for more details.
When looking at CXL™, Gen-Z and OpenCAPI, what is the importance of Gen-Z?
Each of these technologies are servicing the memory expansion architecture in different ways. OpenCAPI is an interface for processors to direct connected memory, without expansion. Compute Express Link™ (CXL™) is a high-speed cache coherent CPU-to-Device and CPU-to-Memory Interconnect. Gen-Z has been developed as an expandable memory fabric using switches and a fabric manager to enable resource sharing and reallocation. Therefore, Gen-Z solves the challenge of larger scale disaggregation and reconfigurable capacity for a variety of memory, processor and accelerator solutions.
Great presentation! Does Gen-Z offer composable management abilities or are you relying on your members to create these products?
A Gen-Z Fabric Management specification has been published and is available online. The fabric management protocol is secure and enables composable systems to be created, configured and managed. The model for fabric management has been developed in-part with the DMTF and the OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) to ensure compatibility with existing management systems.
Will Gen-Z allow for truly heterogeneous architectures or will they be Intel, AMD or Nvidia flavored?
Gen-Z is a memory expansion fabric technology that enables any memory, processors, accelerators and computational storage devices to be configured for access to any other device in the system. The specification is an open specification and has no specific variations for unique vendors — rather it is available for anyone interested in developing using this technology. Gen-Z has been developed and guided by the members and there is a broad representation of expertise and developers from throughout the industry. We have shown several technology demonstrations with ARM processors in FPGA solutions at both the FMS and SC19 conferences. And we will have more to share at the upcoming 2020 conferences!
Do you have a question? Contact us and we will respond!
Also, to learn more about Gen-Z, visit our virtual booths at Flash Memory Summit 2020 and SC20. And don’t miss our presentation at FMS as well as the joint panel discussion with CXL at FMS and SC20!