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NVIDIA QM8700 & QM8790 HDR Switches: Transceiver and Cable Compatibility Guide

Posted on Jul 6, 2024 by
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As data centers and high-performance computing (HPC) environments demand ever-increasing performance, the importance of robust networking solutions cannot be overstated. NVIDIA's QM8700 and QM8790 HDR switches are designed to meet these needs, offering high bandwidth and low latency. This guide provides an in-depth look at the transceiver and cable compatibility for these switches, ensuring optimal performance and reliability for your network infrastructure.

Understanding NVIDIA QM8700 & QM8790 HDR Switches

The NVIDIA/Mellanox QM8700 and QM8790 InfiniBand 200G HDR switches, built with Quantum™ InfiniBand switching fabric, provide up to 40 200Gb/s HDR ports. Each port offers complete bidirectional bandwidth and supports connectivity at 200G HDR as well as previous data rates of 200G HDR/100G EDR/56G FDR/40G QDR through optical transceiver modules or cable products.

With the increasing demand for data bandwidth due to powerful servers, high-performance storage, and complex computational applications, HPC environments and EDCs require maximum bandwidth delivered by NVIDIA Mellanox's HDR InfiniBand systems. These systems, built with the latest Mellanox Quantum™ HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand switch device, are ideal for top-of-rack leaf connectivity or building clusters of any size.

They feature static routing, adaptive routing, and advanced congestion management, ensuring maximum effective fabric bandwidth by eliminating congestion. Mellanox Quantum™ is designed to enable in-network computing through Mellanox Scalable Hierarchical Aggregation Protocol (SHARP)™ technology. SHARP architecture leverages all active data center devices to accelerate communication frameworks, resulting in significant application performance improvements.

Transceivers and Cables Compatible with QM8700 & QM8790 Provided by FS

Understanding the types of transceivers and cables compatible with your NVIDIA switches is crucial for maintaining network efficiency.

Direct Attached Copper Cables (DAC)

Data Rate
Product
Description
200G HDR
NVIDIA InfiniBand MCA1J00-H003E Compatible 200G HDR QSFP56 Active Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable, 3m, 5m, 7m
NVIDIA InfiniBand MCP1650-H005Eyy Compatible 200G HDR QSFP56 Passive Direct Attach Copper Twinax Cable, 0.05m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m
NVIDIA InfiniBand MCA7J50-H003R Compatible 200G HDR QSFP56 to 2 x 100G QSFP56 Active Direct Attach Copper Breakout Cable, 3m, 5m, 7m
NVIDIA InfiniBand MCP7H50-H00AR30 Compatible 200G HDR QSFP56 to 2 x 100G QSFP56 Passive Direct Attach Copper Breakout Cable, 0.05m, 1m, 1.5m, 2m

Active Optical Cables (AOC)

Data Rate
Product
Description
200G HDR
NVIDIA InfiniBand MFS1S00-V001E Compatible 200G HDR QSFP56 Active Optical Cable, 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m, 50m, 100m
NVIDIA InfiniBand MFS1S50-V001E Compatible 200G HDR QSFP56 to 2 x 100G QSFP56 Active Optical Breakout Cable, 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m
NVIDIA InfiniBand MFS1S90-H003E Compatible 2 x 200G HDR QSFP56 to 2 x 200G QSFP56 Active Optical Breakout Cable, 3m, 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m

Optical Transceivers

Data Rate
Product
Description
200G HDR
NVIDIA InfiniBand MMA1T00-HS Compatible QSFP56 200G SR4 850nm 100m DOM MPO-12/UPC MMF HDR Optical Transceiver Module
NVIDIA InfiniBand MMS1W50-HM Compatible QSFP56 200G FR4 1310nm 2km DOM Duplex LC/UPC SMF HDR Optical Transceiver Module

HDR Switch to Switch Interconnection

The leaf layer switch aggregates traffic from servers, while the spine switch interconnects all leaf switches in a full mesh topology. For short distances between leaf and spine switches, direct-connection DAC cables or AOC cables are typically used. Both AOC and DAC offer high port bandwidth, density, and configurability at a lower cost, reducing the data center's power demand. However, for long-distance interconnections, HDR 200GBASE SR4 or HDR 200GBASE FR4 is generally used.

HDR Switch to Switch Interconnection

Connecting HDR Switches and Server Network Cards

For HPC data centers, high-speed DAC cables are typically used for top-of-rack (ToR) connections between ToR switches and servers. The 200G QSFP56 InfiniBand HDR DAC cable is ideal for these short-distance connections due to its support for up to 3 meters, low power consumption, low latency, high bandwidth, and cost-effectiveness.

Additionally, breakout cables can split a 200G HDR QSFP56 (4x 50G PAM4) switch port into two 100G HDR100 QSFP56 (2x 50G PAM4) ports. This capability allows the 40-port Mellanox QM8700 InfiniBand HDR switch to support up to 80 100G HDR100 connections, thereby enhancing port utilization.

Connecting HDR Switches and Server Network CardsConclusion 

Proper selection of transceivers and cables for NVIDIA QM8700 and QM8790 HDR switches is essential for optimal data center performance. By understanding the compatibility and performance characteristics, you can enhance your network’s efficiency and reliability.

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