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The Supercomputer Supernet: A Scalable Distributed Terabit Network


Conventional supercomputer interconnection networks' consist of crossbar modules, which are connected by point-to-point copper or fiber links to create distributed mesh topologies (e.g., CP*, Nectar). This type of "physical networking" topology creates cable layout problems, dealing with bundles of cables/fibers between various pairs' of modules. It also introduces several routing hops, increasing the probability of interference between connections and making it difficult to guarantee quality of service to real time applications. We describe a new network called the Supercomputer Supernet (SSN) that attempts' to overcome these problems by replacing the point-to-point links' with an fiber optic interconnect system. The novel scheme employs asynchronous pipeline crossbar switches (APCS) used in parallel supercomputers' to interconnect multi-channel wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) fiber optic links' to an optical star (or tree) "physical" topology. WDM will be used to subdivide the very large fiber bandwidth into several channels, each of Gb/s bandwidth. WDM channels (supporting also time division multiplexing) will be established between modules, thus defining a dense "virtual" interconnection topology, which is dynamically reconfigurable, responding to changing traffic patterns. A pool of channels will be set aside for direct, end-to-end connections between crossbars', providing circuit-switched service for real-time traffic applications.

Paper: PDF file of paper

Information & Date

Journal of High Speed Networks: special issue on Optical Networks, , January. 1995


Leonard Kleinrock
Mario Gerla
Nicholas Bambos
Jason Cong
Eli Gafni
Larry Bergman
Joseph Bannister