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subTask 1.5(UPV): High-radix switch architectures

Leader: José Flich; Researchers: Gaspar Mora, Pedro J. Garcia (UCLM), Juan Antonio Villar (UCLM)

1. Brief Description of the Goals

In this task switch architectures with high number of ports is researched. Currently, the trend to achieve better networks is to increase the number of ports at switches so increasing connectivity between nodes and thus reducing the hop count term in the latency equation. Two main research activities have been performed in this task, first in the research of new high-radix switch architectures, and second in the evaluation of a very-high switch radix using the Proximity Communication technology provided by Sun Microsystems.

2. Scientific and Technical Developed Activities

Research in high-radix switches concluded satisfactorily with the completion of a PhD dissertation Gaspar Mora, defended at the beginning of 2009. The focus of the PhD has been the design, evaluation, and proposal of the Partitioned Crossbar Input Queued switch architecture (PCIQ), totally developed within the research group. PCIQ benefits of asymmetrical crossbars within the switch in order to get better arbiter matching’s and lower contention levels. PCIQ has been also enriched with the congestion control mechanism (RECN) also developed within the group. Given the different switch architectures used in RECN, for PCIQ a new RECN mechanism has been researched.

PCIQ has been deeply evaluated and compared against other well known and established switch architectures. In most of the cases, PCIQ has outperformed other architectures under non-congested situations (random traffic patterns) and under congested situations (very adverse situations).

As major outcomes of the research several international publications have been achieved throughout the duration of the task.

In addition to PCIQ, also a new switch architecture, developed by Sun Microsystems have been evaluated, in collaboration with Sun Microsystems in Santa Clara, USA. The switch architecture relies on Proximity Communication Technology (PxC), developed by Sun Microsystem. With PxC a switch with hundreds or even thousands of ports can be envisaged. The collaboration has been focused on the evaluation of such large switches. The major outcome has been the publication and the award received (best technical paper in the conference) published by Eberle et al. in Supercomputing Conference, 2008. In addition, proposals to improve several parts of the Sun switch have been made: arbiters, queue structures, etc.

Finally, we have proposed an alternative for building high-radix switches which consists in combining several low-radix switches to obtain a switch with a greater number of ports. First results were published by Villar et al. in proceedings of HPCC and NCA conferences in 2011.


Publications: [Mora07] [Mora07b] [Mora06] [Eberle08]

Projects funded by Public Calls: TIN2006-15516-C04-01TIN2009-14475-C04-01STREP Num. 248972 , CA501 COMCAS label , TSI-020400-2009-64 , PRI-PIBIN-2011-0989 , PCC-08-0078-9856 

External collaborations Academia: Tor Skeie and Sven-Arne Reinemo

External collaborations Industry: --  

Company Agreements: Sun Microsystems (US)

PhD dissertations: Gaspar Mora PortaJuan Antonio Villar Ortiz

Patents: --