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Exploring the Future: CXL™ Consortium & Gen-Z Consortium Sign Letter of Intent to Advance Interconnect Technology
High performance computing continues to evolve—meeting the ever-increasing demand for high efficiency, low-latency, rapid and seamless processing. The Gen-Z Consortium was founded in 2016 to create a next-generation fabric capable of bridging existing solutions while enabling new, unbounded innovation in an open, non-proprietary standards body.
In 2019, the CXL™ Consortium launched to deliver Compute Express Link™ (CXL™), an industry-supported cache-coherent interconnect designed for processors, memory expansion, and accelerators. The CXL Consortium and the Gen-Z Consortium established a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU) providing an opportunity for collaboration to define bridging between the protocols. This took the form of a joint working group that encouraged creativity and innovation between the two organizations toward the betterment of the industry as a whole.
Looking to the future, the CXL Consortium and Gen-Z Consortium have identified synergies between the two consortia that resulted in the signing of a Letter of Intent which, if passed and agreed upon by all parties, would transfer the Gen-Z Specifications and all Gen-Z assets to the CXL Consortium.
The intent of both organizations is to focus industry efforts related to the development of a memory coherent interface under the CXL Consortium with CXL as the sole industry standard moving forward. This shift will help streamline the technology development under a single, laser-focused organization. Member companies will be able to dedicate resources to one industry organization and eliminate the risk of duplicated efforts.
We’re excited about the opportunity to focus the computing industry on a single specification moving forward. We’ve been working together since the inception of the CXL Consortium, and we believe that this is the right step forward for our members and the industry ecosystem.
By Jim Pappas, CXL Consortium Board Chairman and Hiren Patel, Gen-Z Consortium President
CXL Consortium™ and Gen-Z Consortium Announce MOU Agreement
Creating a framework for collaboration between two leading industry standards
Beaverton, OR – April 2, 2020 – The Compute Express Link™ (CXL) Consortium and Gen-Z Consortium today announced their execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), describing a mutual plan for collaboration between the two organizations. The agreement shows the commitment each organization is making to promote interoperability between the technologies, while leveraging and further developing complementary capabilities of each technology.
“CXL technology and Gen-Z are gearing up to make big strides across the device connectivity ecosystem. Each technology brings different yet complementary interconnect capabilities required for high-speed communications. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Gen-Z Consortium to enable great innovations for the Cloud and IT world.”
said Jim Pappas, board chair, CXL Consortium.
The MOU outlines the formation of common workgroups between both organizations to provide clear cooperation, defining bridging between the protocols while leveraging the strengths of both technologies. CXL and Gen-Z are both memory semantic protocols (read/write) that enable high speed connectivity to processors, accelerators and memory expansion, resulting in unique architectural opportunities and benefits for implementers. These technologies make possible the low latency sharing of memory and storage resource pools among processing elements like CPUs, GPUs, AI Accelerators or FPGAs. CXL focuses on enabling coherent node-level computing, whereas Gen-Z focuses on fabric connectivity at the rack and row level.
“CXL and Gen-Z technologies work very well together, and this agreement facilitates collaboration between our organizations that will ultimately benefit the entire industry. We are excited for this new development toward advancing next-generation architectures.”
said Gen-Z Consortium President Kurtis Bowman.
To participate in the common workgroups, a company must simultaneously be a Promoter or Contributor Member of the CXL Consortium, and a General or Associate Member of the Gen-Z Consortium. To join the CXL Consortium, visit www.computeexpresslink.org/join. Likewise, to join the Gen-Z Consortium, visit www.genzconsortium.org.
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