For the last year, the Infiniband Trade Association has fought to agree on specifications for a new extremely highspeed I/O architecture to replace the aging PCI peripheral expansion bus standard. Infiniband will increase bandwidth between servers and peripherals to multiple gigabytes per second by shifting control of I/O away from processors to intelligent I/0 engines known as channels. Next month, the organization will deliver the specification, having succeeded by keeping control of the standard within a small group of companies that includes Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Sun. Chip makers have prepared for the final specs and many will announced Infiniband products in the near future.
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