QLogic has launched a new range of data switches for the InfiniBand high-speed switching technology used in high-performance computing data centres.

The new products, the 12000 Series of 40Gbits/s quad data rate switches offer users a number of innovative features according to QLogic. The company said that the new features would be aimed at HPC users running cluster applications such as oil & gas exploration, weather forecasting, auto design and financial modelling.

Henrik Hansen, QLogic's director of marketing (EMEA) said that one of the key changes for the company is that it was now developing its own ASIC.

"Previously, we have been using silicon from a company called Mellanox. By developing our own we can control a couple of different things. Not only does it mean that we can control the design from A to Z, but we would be able to benefit from tighter integration of features as well as offering some new features too, for example, look at data integrity on a per port basis."

Hansen said that one of the key points for users was that there was a high degree of scalability.

"We've designed a modular scalability," he said, "so that customers can buy what they need right now.

There are four different models being launched said Hansen. "We have two different edge switches, both 36 port, but one has a replaceable power supply. The core switch is available in two configurations with 864 - the hghest port count for a rack mount switch - if you run it on full with a 52TB backplane; that should be enough for most people," said Hansen.

"There's also a 684 port version." Hansen believes that the technology puts them ahead of the game. "We think that we're about six to 12 months ahead of the competition," he said.

As with many vendors these days, QLogic is looking to cut down on power used. "The edge switch uses just 3W per port and the core switch uses 7.8W per port," said Hansen. "Reducing power consumption is increasingly important."

Tied into that is the need to reduce flooring space and Hansen said that with 19inch form factor, customers could pile a lot of switch into a small box.