A startup called Rockport Networks has exited stealth mode with an intriguing product: a switchless network. It claims the Rockport Switchless Network product can move data faster and with better latency than switched networks.
In a Rockport Switchless Network, switching functionality has been reassigned to intelligent endpoint network cards where these devices (nodes) become the network. Each device has an FPGA and can connect up to 24 endpoints to a dedicated 1U SHFL (pronounced “shuffle”) optical device using passive cabling.
SHFLs need no power or cooling and can be linked together to scale out the network. Ethernet and InfiniBand traffic can be carried over the Rockport network. The network cards are standard, low-profile half height, half length (HHHL) PCIe cards.
Source:: Network World – Data Center