Gen-Z Consortium Showcases World's First Gen-Z Multi-Vendor Technology Demonstration for Memory-Centric Computing

Positioned to Enable Future Data Centers, Gen-Z Consortium Continues to Gain Industry Support, Doubling Its Member Base Since Inception

FLASH MEMORY SUMMIT – The Gen-Z Consortium, an organization developing an open systems interconnect designed to provide high-speed, low latency, memory-semantic access to data and devices, today announced the world’s first Gen-Z multi-vendor technology demonstration, connecting compute, memory, and I/O devices at Flash Memory Summit, Santa Clara, August 8-10. Gen-Z technology enables increased performance and scalability for existing enterprise applications and future memory-centric computing applications.

The demonstration utilizes FPGA-based Gen-Z adapters connecting compute nodes to memory pools through a Gen-Z switch, creating a fabric connecting multiple server vendors and a variety of memory vendors. The multi-vendor participation reflects strong industry support for Gen-Z and showcases how future data centers can leverage this technology to attain a unified, high-performance and scalable fabric/interconnect. Additionally, a separate demonstration will show the scalable prototype connector defined by the Gen-Z Consortium, running at 112 giga-transfers/sec.

“At Bloomberg, we provide information that powers the global capital markets and our customers depend on us to quickly deliver accurate data, despite exponentially increasing volumes,” said Justin Erenkrantz, head of compute architecture for the finance, media and tech company based in New York City. “Gen-Z's memory-centric standards-based approach will allow us to bring even more powerful analytics to our customers through a distributed memory and compute fabric.”

“We are excited to showcase the first technology demonstration of Gen-Z that includes solutions from multiple member companies, including a variety of servers, memory and I/O devices, all connected with a Gen-Z fabric,” said Kurtis Bowman, President of the Gen-Z Consortium. “The consortium continues to meet the planned development schedule and we expect to see initial Gen-Z products in the 2019-2020 timeframe. As an open consortium, we encourage all companies to join us in our collaborative effort to develop the architecture and products that will provide the performance required for housing and analyzing the incredible amount of information coming into the data center.”

The Gen-Z Consortium has doubled its member base since inception and now includes more than 40 companies. It has released four draft specifications to date, all of which are available openly on its website: Gen-Z Core Specification, SFF 8639 2.5” Connector Specification, SFF 8639 2.5” Compact Connector Specification, and Gen-Z Scalable Connector Specification. To watch the world’s first Gen-Z demonstration, please visit the Gen-Z Consortium booth #739 at the Flash Memory Summit, August 8-10. To see what member companies are saying about Gen-Z at FMS 2017, visit the website here.

Press Release - Supporting Member Quotes

Gen-Z architecture aims at reducing load on CPU, by using the Gen-Z scalable high performance, low latency, memory-semantic fabric technology that can be used to communicate to every device in the system by simplifying data access at rack scale," said Gopal Hegde, VP/GM Data Center Processor Group, Cavium. "Cavium along with its partners was one of the first to demonstrate an early implementation of the Gen-Z interconnect on its ThunderX2 ARM server. The high performance memory semantic fabric addresses the challenges of explosive data growth by providing a peer to peer interconnect, which is designed to access large volume of data while lowering overall cost & avoiding bottle necks thereby meeting the needs of advanced workloads & real time analytics."

Dell EMC
"I'm very encouraged with the progress the Gen-Z Consortium has made in less than a year. The multi-vender demo and new 112GT/s connector shows the power of collaboration of the best minds in the industry to accelerate innovation in computing platforms," said Robert Hormuth, Dell EMC Server CTO.

"The consortium has doubled its diverse member base since our formation only eight months ago, evidence of strong industry support for collaboratively advancing open standards to address industry challenges," said Keith McAuliffe, VP & Chief Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. "We're proud of what we're accomplishing together, demonstrating Gen-Z in action and publishing multiple open specifications to move the industry forward."

"This demonstration represents another big step in the emergence of Gen-Z as a unified, rack-scale interconnect for memory, storage and compute in tomorrow's data center," said Sean Fan, Senior Vice President of IDT's Computing and Communications Group. "By bringing an open standard approach to new computing models such as memory and storage pooling, the Gen-Z Consortium is enabling a new era of data movement and processing."

"IntelliProp is very excited to be part of the Gen-Z Consortium and to be participating with a demo of our Gen-Z Persistent Memory Controller at Flash Memory Summit. Gen-Z is poised to provide industry changing performance for enterprise and memory centric compute applications."
- Hiren Patel, VP Business Development, IntelliProp Inc.

Mellanox Technologies
"The growing demands for faster data analysis mandates technology innovations and collaborations around open standards, to deliver the needed compute and storage infrastructures today and in the future," Said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "The collaboration among companies within the Gen-Z Consortium will enable tighter technology development, and the design of efficient data centers in the future."

"High-performance computing is reaching a critical inflection point. The growth of applications and devices that can harvest and use millions of points of information per day are creating an explosion in data. Making this data available and useful is critical to everything from business manufacturing processes to scientific research," said Ryan Baxter, director of marketing for Micron's Compute and Networking Business Unit. "Open memory standards like Gen-Z are a recognition that the pathways that high-performance compute uses to access memory must evolve to deliver the next generation of computing performance."

"Data center machine learning and analytic workloads require ever greater scalability performance from computing, memory and storage infrastructure solutions. Gen-Z enables memory to scale with CPU performance, allows for a new level of resource pooling efficiency and will unleash the full potential of emerging storage class memory technology. Microsemi endorses the open Gen-Z standard and the industry-wide innovation it can deliver. Our portfolio of fabric, data protection and security technologies positions Microsemi well to deliver Gen-Z product solutions."
- Pete Hazen, Vice President and General Manager of Microsemi's Scalable Storage Business Unit

"Since being launched at the end of last year, the Gen-Z Consortium has made considerable progress with releases of core, connector and mechanical specifications," said Chiwook Kim, Vice President of Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics. "The demo at FMS'17 marks a major milestone towards a memory semantics fabric that will meet the requirements of new and existing computing workloads. Samsung is delighted to be part of the Consortium and its concerted efforts to establish an open industry standard."

SK hynix
"In pursuit of enabling future memory technologies including storage class memory, SK hynix fully supports open standards like Gen-Z. Gen-Z introduces new opportunities to innovate memory system architecture and contribute to better scalable memory solutions."
- Sunny Khang, Vice President, Head of DRAM Product Planning & Enabling Office, SK hynix Inc.

TE Connectivity
"Our designs always strive to create real value for our customers. In this case "value" means significantly increasing architectural design flexibility by extending the distance high data rate signals can travel at a much lower system cost," said Phil Gilchrist, CTO of Data and Devices at TE Connectivity. "Sliver is a highly versatile platform of connectors and cables that dramatically simplifies the way most components will connect, thereby reducing design risk and supply chain complexity for leading customers, and we are very pleased that COBO and Gen-Z have adopted it as a standard."

Western Digital
"Persistent memory technologies promise to unlock huge new possibilities for managing mass data, particularly as it relates to in-memory databases, big data analytics and machine learning. Western Digital's work with the Gen-Z Consortium, including the presentation of a first-of-its kind memory-centric technology demonstration at the Flash Memory Summit this week and collaboration with our ecosystem partners and customers to establish open standards for emerging technologies, underscores our ongoing commitment to driving the future of persistent memory."
- Martin Fink, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Western Digital Corporation

"Xilinx is committed to open standards and GenZ is well positioned to address the convergence of memory and storage," said Manish Muthal, Vice President, Data Center Business at Xilinx. "Xilinx products are used throughout the GenZ technology showcase at FMS, illustrating the capabilities of our All Programmable devices in modern data center architectures."

Supporting Resources:

About Gen-Z Consortium
Gen-Z is an open systems interconnect designed to provide memory semantic access to data and devices via direct-attached, switched or fabric topologies. The Gen-Z Consortium is made up of leading computer industry companies dedicated to creating and commercializing a new data access technology. The consortium’s 12 initial members were; AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx with that list expanding as reflected on our Member List.

The Gen-Z Consortium strongly believes in developing an open ecosystem where members, the broader industry, and customers can work together to deliver robust, high-quality specifications that meet solution needs. The Gen-Z Consortium will periodically publicly post draft specifications and technical concepts to elicit input from the broader industry and directly from customers. For more information visit


About Cavium
Cavium, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM), offers a broad portfolio of infrastructure solutions for compute, security, storage, switching, connectivity and baseband processing. Cavium’s highly integrated multi-core SoC products deliver software compatible solutions across low to high performance points enabling secure and intelligent functionality in Enterprise, Data center and Service Provider Equipment. Cavium processors and solutions are supported by an extensive ecosystem of operating systems, tools, application stacks, hardware reference designs and other products. Cavium is headquartered in San Jose, CA with design centers in California, Massachusetts, India, Israel, China and Taiwan. For more information about the Company, please visit:

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