As part of several announcements today, Rivet Networks (the company behind the Killer branded network controllers, and formerly a brand under Qualcomm) is starting their Computex news with software support for upcoming platforms featuring multi-gigabit technologies. In the past few months we have seen network controllers, such as those from Aquantia, supporting new multi-gigabit standards, such as 2.5G and 5G, in a single chip (and some chips support 10G as well). In order to propagate the Killer networking infrastructure moving forward, Rivet is working with their motherboard partners to offer Killer-based software solutions on top of these new multi-gigabit controllers. To start this is a fully software-enabled enterprise tightly coupled to the motherboard vendors and certain multi-gigabit chipsets, but we were told to expect hardware solutions from Killer in the future (time-scale is TBD).
We discussed with Rivet Networks about the software solutions, which will allow users to prioritize traffic and take advantage of lower ping/fewer freezes when the network is being saturated from the same machines, compared to the current hardware solutions available. When using their own silicon and controller, Rivet stated that they are able to do more, offload more, and implement more features without impacting system performance. The software solution does a number of similar things, but it’s not complete. That being said, the venture into supporting certain multi-gigabit chipsets such as the Aquantia ones is a step forward into preparing for their own silicon. It should be noted that the collaboration is more at the motherboard manufacturer level rather than the silicon level, so Rivet has had to peel through documents and test the supported chipsets to see what features they can offer.
In discussions with Aquantia, we are expecting to see more vendors offer the AQtion solutions over the coming months, especially with the launch of several high-end desktop platforms in the mix, and these multi-gigabit solutions should be functionality plus points for some premium models. However, to have the Killer software enabled in the software stack, the motherboard vendor must work with Rivet in order to do so.
With Computex this week, we’re expecting to see motherboards for Intel’s upcoming X299 platform, as well as a sneak peek or two at AMD’s ThreadRipper platform and the new chipset. I expect to see some integrated multi-gigabit solutions there as well.
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