At SC23, Cornelis Networks showed off the next-generation 400Gbps Omni-Path. The company has taken up the mantle after Intel jettisoned the technology and is jumping from the 100Gbps to the 400Gbps version. The company also has new larger switches that allow for a compressed radix.
Cornelis Networks CN5000 576-Port 400Gbps Omni-Path Director Switch
First, at SC23, the STH team saw the huge 576-port 400Gbps Omni-Path director switch. This is the biggest CN5000 switch that we have seen.
Power supplies? Yes. There are 16x 3kW power supplies and two management modules on the front of the switch.
With Patrick being captured in the background, we have the line card slots. There is a single 48 port line card installed in the model shown on the show floor.
That 48 ports also extends to the 1U top-of-rack switches.
Cornelis Networks CN5000 48-Port 400Gbps Omni-Path 1U Switch
For in-rack connectivity, there is a 1U CN5000 48-port 400Gbps Omni-Path switch. Here are the power supplies, fans, and management port. This is important because there is no room on the other side.
The other side of the CN5000 1U switch has 48-ports of 400Gbps CN5000 networking.
Omni-Path has done these higher-port count switches for some time. In one of the earliest STH YouTube videos, we took apart the old OPA100 switch.
That video was one of the first “live-action” videos STH did before we really started doing videos in 2020.
Cornelis Networks CN5000 400Gbps Omni-Path Adapter
For adapters, Cornelis had its CN5000 400Gbps Omni-Path PCIe adapters.
From what we heard, these single port units are generally running with optics at around 20W.
Here is another angle. These were in an acrylic case and backlit making photos rough.
Here is an old OPA100 adapter from 2015.
At one point, Intel had the option for customers to purchase some SKUs like the Intel Xeon Gold 6148 with built-in Omni-Path 100Gbps networking.
We last used those in 2018 in the Skylake Xeon era (1st Gen Intel Xeon Scalable.)
The advantage of this is that it had a direct PCIe-ish (lower power but similar to PCIe) connection to the CPU. These days, with different CPU vendors, APUs like the MI300A, and more, an interconnect with an Intel-specific onboard slant is less exciting. That is one of the big reasons Cornelis Networks is winning deals these days.
The Omni-Path 400Gbps generation is sorely needed. Omni-Path was an InfiniBand cousin focused on compute-first (InfiniBand started as a storage-focused interconnect.) Right now, the supply of ConnectX-7 adapters is not plentiful, and NVIDIA is not pricing them at a discount. As a result, Cornelis CN5000 is an alternative that can be price competitive and hopefully availability competitive with NVIDIA in the interconnect markets. One fun fact is that OPA100 still works without issue, but 100Gbps is not exactly high-end networking today, especially in a world of $15K-35K accelerators.
Hopefully, we will get real hands-on with this generation in the future.