HCA Line-up

To state the obvious, I have not blogged in a while. But here is an article I have wanted to do for some time. Occasionally, people wonder which HCAs are offered by Sun. So here is a summary. Yes there are numerous IHV cards out there. But these HCAs are the ones you can get off the Sun price list.

Sun OptionForm FactorChipIO BusIB Ports
(per HCA)
Card MemorySolaris Driver
X1333A-4CardMT23108
InfiniHost
PCI-X 133Dual x4 SDR256 MBtavor
X1236A-ZCardMT25208
InfiniHost III Ex
PCIe x8Dual x4 SDR256 MBtavor
X1288A-ZExpress Module
X1289A-ZSunBlade 8000 NEM
(10 HCAs)
MT25204
InfiniHost III Lx
PCIe x8One x4 DDRMemfreearbel
X4217A-ZCardConnectX-IBPCIe x8Dual x4 DDRMemfreehermon
X4216A-ZExpress Module
X5196A-ZSunBlade 6048 NEM
(12 HCAs + 2 switches)

Now all the notes and explanation: The Express Module is the PCIe hot-plug form factor used by Sun blade servers. NEM is our Network Express Module form factor which plugs into all the blades in a shelf. And because the NEMs have multiple HCAs in them, you have to note that the IB Ports column is listing the ports per HCA. The term Memfree means it uses host memory instead of using memory on the card. The arbel driver is currently available through our IB Updates 1. The hermon driver is NOT out yet, but it's coming; and before you ask I can't say any more than that. The X5196A-Z has the final stage of the switch setup for a Sun Constellation system built into the NEM.

If you are trying to use third party cards, the thing that might confuse you is that two different drivers are used with InfiniHost III Ex cards. If there is card memory, the Solaris tavor driver is used. On the other hand, Memfree cards use the Solaris arbel driver.

And of course, if there is any contradiction, I am sure the official stuff takes precedence over anything I say.

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