Earlier today, the Linux Foundation shared a new press release detailing plans for the Ultra Ethernet Consortium (UEC). This effort involves several prominent industry leaders, including AMD, Arista, Broadcom, Cisco, Eviden, HPE, Intel, Meta, and Microsoft. The consortium intends to optimize Ethernet standards for high-performance networking.
As more advancements are made in artificial intelligence, machine learning and other forms of high-performance computing, so are the demands of the networks that support these systems. The goal of UEC is for the involved companies to work together in improving the standards of modern networking protocols so they might be better equipped to handle the workloads of these newer advanced systems.
Dr. J Metz is Chair of the Ultra Ethernet Consortium and stated that there is no need to overhaul Ethernet, but instead, the team hopes to make adjustments over time that will improve efficiency.
So far, a few specific technical hurdles have been identified, which the consortium intends to focus upon. This involves the development of APIs and specifications for various Ethernet communication protocols, interfaces and data structures to suit the needs of high-performance technology better.
Additional areas of interest include both link-level and end-to-end network transport protocols. The press release also mentions congestion, signaling mechanisms, and telemetry as necessary targets. What this looks like in practice will only be apparent in time, but we can expect things like new software and Ethernet security protocols developed with AI, machine learning, and high-performance computing in mind.
You can read more about the UEC on their official website, including frequently asked questions and news and updates. The latest press release also provides plenty of information about forming the new consortium and its future goals.