Despite Intel's announcement yesterday that it would no longer produce InfiniBand host channel adapters (HCAs), Intel and observers were quick to say that the semiconductor giant will continue to support and play an instrumental role in InfiniBand's deployment.
Noting that suppliers such as IBM Microelectronics and Mellanox have begun to account for the majority of production of InfiniBand HCAs, Intel said yesterday it would discontinue manufacturing the devices, instead turning to third-party IC suppliers for Infiniband-compliant components.
"The decision was based on two factors: Infiniband's ecosystem was maturing, and there have been a number of vendors supplying or planning to supply the products," an Intel spokesman said. "Second, Intel's strategic focus will help ensure the success of the AGC, and we will go to third parties for these components. We will certainly continue to support the Infiniband architecture and its development."
One industry source said the move was not a surprise.
"This is not a huge deal because Intel will continue to support [InfiniBand]," he said. "They were basically getting trounced by Mellanox and IBM who were dominating the design wins."
InfiniBand, which Intel helped develop, is one of several high-speed I/O standards now competing for acceptance. Currently, Intel is putting its weight behind its PCI Express (formerly 3GIO) interface, in a fragmented arena that also includes PCI-X 2.0 and Fibre Channel.
"Intel says 3GIO is the best way to go, but they also have to support InfiniBand and other standards," said Will Strauss, an analyst at Forward Concepts in Tempe, Ariz. "They are certainly going to back things they think are the way to go, while being cognizant that there are other standards out there."