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Industry Leaders Collaborate on Ultra Accelerator Link Standard

Today, AMD, Broadcom, Cisco, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Intel, Meta, and Microsoft have announced their alignment to develop a new industry standard aimed at advancing high-speed and low-latency communication for scale-up AI systems in Data Centers.

Known as the Ultra Accelerator Link (UALink), this group will work together to define and establish an open industry standard that will enhance communication among AI accelerators. By creating an interconnect based on open standards, UALink will enable system OEMs, IT professionals, and system integrators to create a pathway for easier integration, greater flexibility, and scalability of their AI-connected data centers. The Promoter Group companies have extensive experience in creating large-scale AI and HPC solutions based on open standards, efficiency, and robust ecosystem support.

Driving Scale-Up for AI Workloads

As the demand for AI compute increases, having a robust, low-latency, and efficient scale-up network is crucial for adding computing resources to a single instance easily. Establishing an open, industry standard specification for scale-up capabilities will help create an open and high-performance environment for AI workloads, ensuring the highest possible performance.

UALink and an industry specification are essential for standardizing the interface for AI and Machine Learning, HPC, and Cloud applications in the next generation of AI data centers and implementations. The group will develop a specification for a high-speed, low-latency interconnect for scale-up communications between accelerators and switches in AI computing pods.

The 1.0 specification will allow the connection of up to 1,024 accelerators within an AI computing pod and enable direct loads and stores between the memory attached to accelerators, such as GPUs, in the pod. The UALink Promoter Group has formed the UALink Consortium, expected to be incorporated in Q3 of 2024. The 1.0 specification will be available in Q3 of 2024 and accessible to companies joining the UALink Consortium.

About Ultra Accelerator Link

Ultra Accelerator Link (UALink) is a high-speed accelerator interconnect technology that enhances next-generation AI/ML cluster performance. AMD, Broadcom, Cisco, Google, HPE, Intel, Meta, and Microsoft are collaborating to develop technical specifications that support breakthrough performance for emerging usage models while fostering an open ecosystem for data center accelerators.

Supporting Quotes

"The work being done by the companies in UALink to create an open, high performance and scalable accelerator fabric is critical for the future of AI. Together, we bring extensive experience in creating large scale AI and high-performance computing solutions that are based on open-standards, efficiency and robust ecosystem support. AMD is committed to contributing our expertise, technologies and capabilities to the group as well as other open industry efforts to advance all aspects of AI technology and solidify an open AI ecosystem." - Forrest Norrod, executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Solutions Group, AMD

"Broadcom is proud to be one of the founding members of the UALink Consortium, building upon our long-term commitment to increase large-scale AI technology implementation into data centers. It is critical to support an open ecosystem collaboration to enable scale-up networks with a variety of high-speed and low-latency solutions." - Jas Tremblay, vice president and general manager of the Data Center Solutions Group, Broadcom

"Ultra-high performance interconnects are becoming increasingly important as AI workloads continue to grow in size and scope. Together, we are committed to developing the UALink which will be a scalable and open solution available to help overcome some of the challenges with building AI supercomputers." - Martin Lund, Executive Vice President, Common Hardware Group, Cisco

"Open standards are important to HPE as we innovate in supercomputing and increase access to systems. As a founding member of the UALink industry consortium, we look forward to contributing our expertise in high performance networking and systems, and collaborating to develop a new open standard for accelerator interconnects for the next generation of supercomputing." - Trish Damkroger, senior vice president and general manager, HPC & AI Infrastructure Solutions, HPE

"UALink is an important milestone for the advancement of Artificial Intelligence computing. Intel is proud to co-lead this new technology and bring our expertise in creating an open, dynamic AI ecosystem. As a founding member of this new consortium, we look forward to a new wave of industry innovation and customer value delivered though the UALink standard. This initiative extends Intel's commitment to AI connectivity innovation that includes leadership roles in the Ultra Ethernet Consortium and other standards bodies." - Sachin Katti, SVP & GM, Network and Edge Group, Intel Corporation

"In a very short period of time, the technology industry has embraced challenges that AI and HPC have uncovered. Interconnecting accelerators like GPUs requires a holistic perspective when seeking to improve efficiencies and performance. At UEC, we believe that UALink's scale-up approach to solving pod cluster issues complements our own scale-out protocol, and we are looking forward to collaborating together on creating an open, ecosystem-friendly, industry-wide solution that addresses both kinds of needs in the future." - J Metz, Ph.D., Chair, Ultra Ethernet Consortium