In light of the recently announced Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) and public release of the Gen-Z Fabric Management Specification 0.7 Draft, the Gen-Z Consortium continues to expand its investment in fabric management.
The agreement with the OFA will advance industry standardization of open-source fabric management. The intersect between Gen-Z and the OFA is based upon fabric management and the corresponding software, and the MoU creates the framework for a series of technical exchange meetings between the two organizations to determine future activities. Read the press release here.
What is Gen-Z Fabric?
Gen-Z is a memory-semantic protocol that enables high-speed connectivity to processors and accelerators and facilitates memory expansion. A key differentiator between Gen-Z and similar high-performance protocols is its focus is on fabric connectivity at the rack and row level.
Gen-Z memory fabric enables resource provisioning and sharing to support a diverse range of applications and provide flexibility to be reconfigured as resource demands change. It can also be reconfigured to accommodate varying resource requirements of existing and emerging memory-centric applications.
Gen-Z fabric offers many other unique features, including:
- Gen-Z abstracts memory media from the memory controller, allowing deployment of a wide range of memory media. This enables new (and older) media types or multiple generations of a given media type to be transparently supported in any system.
- The fabric can be reconfigured to accommodate varying resource requirements of existing and emerging memory centric applications.
- Components can be independently replaced and upgraded without disrupting the active system operation — for example, GPU’s, FPGA’s, memory modules, NVM modules, etc.
- Gen-Z fabric management is secure and robust. It utilizes industry standard protocols (i.e. MCTP) to enable rapid deployment and ensure compatibility with existing management tools.
- Gen-Z supports a robust hardware-enforced isolation and security framework to help protect customer solutions from cyber threats.
- Gen-Z interoperability enables the architecture to simultaneously and efficiently transport standard and customized communications between components, which enables customers and vendors to rapidly innovate and deploy new capabilities and services.
The Gen-Z Fabric Management Specification 0.7 Draft defines in-band management for composable compute, memory and storage using industry-standard protocols. It also outlines key system features and requirements, which must be supported by the Gen-Z fabric’s management stack. The draft specification is available to download here.