Lightfleet Corporation (www.lightfleet.com) has both issued and pending patents that will lead to the first implementation of true multicast networking on a multicore processor chip. This solves a fundamental problem that has limited the performance of processor architectures in data-intensive applications. Multicast refers to the ability to send a data packet to multiple destinations simultaneously. This is a capability that is desirable in performance-critical applications where multiple processors need access to the information.
To make up for the lack of true multicast, Ethernet implementations offer a sequential multicast wherein a packet is replicated in the interconnect and sent out serially to multiple endpoints, said Dr. Bill Dress, chief architect of the Lightfleet developments. Such a work-around introduces excessive latency into the transmissions and produces a severe skew in arrival times of the same information at different destinations, while dramatically reducing system throughput.
Supported by 17 patents issued to date, the Lightfleet developments have enabled a new message-centric networking architecture called Multiflo„¢, where data flow from source(s) to destination(s) without the need for traditional network switches. By eliminating the traditional network switch, Multiflo removes the biggest factor limiting the performance of data-centric applications, said Jay Brandon, Lightfleet Vice President of Sales. Using our technology will give processor vendors a clear performance advantage over competing products, especially in new markets such as Artificial Intelligence. The companys benchmarks show more than a ten-fold performance advantage with multicast over switch-based networks, in addition to significant throughput and latency improvements with unicast.
Lightfleets multicast capability has the potential to fill a big gap in the industrys Gen-Z next-generation networking specification, said Dress. Without true multicast capability, and a switch-free interconnect, the latency problems plaguing todays network architectures will continue and grow even worse into the future.
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Lightfleet Corporation was founded in 2003 in Camas, Wash. by a team of individuals seeking to deliver innovative computer hardware and associated software system products. The companys staff has diverse backgrounds in optics, signal processing, neural computing, massively parallel processing and semiconductor design. The team is responsible for over 24 patents, either obtained or in process.