The potential of a supercomputer throttled by a network interface not able to offer adequate performance. It is the problem he is facing DARPA, the US agency working on the development of new technologies for military use. Jonathan Smith, Program Manager of the Information Innovation Office, talks about working with his team on a new technology called FastNIC.
DARPA: FastNIC for networks 100 times faster
Considering how the acronym NIC stands for Network Interface Controller, it is not difficult to imagine what the advantage offered by SuperNIC is: a increase up to 100 times speed, so that the computing capabilities of the processors can be exploited to the maximum for operations ranging from mathematical simulations to scientific research, without having to slow them down when the machine is in the condition of having to exchange data with those that surround it, albeit all within the same network.
The real bottleneck for the processor's range is the network interface used to connect a machine to the external network, such as Ethernet, which severely limits data processing capabilities.
To give a concrete example, if the processor is able to chew on input and generate TB information output in a second, while in the same time frame thenetwork interface it cannot go beyond a few GB in transmission, a bottleneck is inevitably created, a slowdown. Succeeding, DARPA would secure a significant competitive advantage over other supercomputer companies. However, the intention is to make the initiative completely open source, so that a standard can eventually be created that everyone can benefit from.