The first half of the year has flown by, and the Gen-Z Consortium is proud to share the Gen-Z technology developments achieved so far in 2021. In addition to these technology updates, Gen-Z Consortium has also entered a liaison with a technical professional organization. Keep reading to learn about the latest announcements from Gen-Z.
The Gen-Z Media Box Development Kit
The Gen-Z Media Box Development Kit is now available for member order. The Media Box Dev Kit allows users to create a full Gen-Z environment for development and testing. This is the same Media Box that has been featured in Gen-Z technology demonstrations at SuperCompute and Flash Memory Summit conferences.
The kit is useful for:
- Software development at all levels
- Hot-plug and dynamic configuration development efforts
- Gen-Z Management development
- Testing in a Gen-Z environment
The Gen-Z Media Box:
- Supports 1 to 6 ZMMs – SFF-TA-1002 Gen-Z
- FPGA 12Port x 4 lane Switch
- 4 4-lane QSFP connection to up to 4 Servers
- Demonstrated with external Gen-Z Switch
- Six 60 mm high Performance fans
- 1100 Watt PSU (110/220v)
- Note: The Media Box will need a shelf to be mounted in a rack
The block diagram for the Media Box is shown in Figure 1 with a photo in Figure 2.
The IEEE Project
Gen-Z Consortium has established an agreement with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) that allows both organizations to work simultaneously on the 100/112Gbit PHY. This will effectively double the Gen-Z technology bandwidth while maintaining low latency. This liaison concerns the IEEE 802.3ck ethernet electrical specification to exchange technical information so the Gen-Z electrical working group is able to leverage the IEEE current activities at 112Gb/s. The agreement also gives the Gen-Z working group early access to IEEE draft specifications.
Since its inception, the Gen-Z consortium has focused on creating an open systems interconnect designed to provide high-speed, low-latency memory-semantic access to data and devices using a common interconnect. One strategy has been to leverage existing technologies within the Gen-Z specifications to simplify development and adoption.
The Consortium has also focused on serial interconnects like Ethernet and PCIe as they are commonly found within the same ecosystem. By leveraging these technologies, Gen-Z allows its members to use existing “off-the-shelf” SerDes technology to implement solutions. The Gen-Z PHY workgroup has publicly released many PHY specifications including definitions for 25G and 50G interfaces. The PHY work group intends to leverage the IEEE 802.3ck specification for the upcoming Gen-Z 100G fabric and local PHY specifications.
What’s Next for the Gen-Z Consortium?
As we consider the remainder of the year, the Consortium is excited to continue expanding the Gen-Z fabric ecosystem and work with other organizations in the industry to guarantee quality assurance and access for users around the world. Stay tuned for more news from Gen-Z and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for regular updates.