The Scalable Coherent Interface and related standards projects
The Scalable Coherent Interface (SCI) project (IEEE P1596) found a way to avoid the limits that are inherent in bus technology. SCI provides bus-like services by transmitting packets on a collection of point-to-point unidirectional links. The SCI protocols support cache coherence in a distributed-shared-memory multiprocessor model, message passing, I/O, and local-area-network-like communication over fiber optic or wire links. VLSI circuits that operate parallel links at 1000 MByte/s and serial
... inks at 1000 Mbit/s will be available early in 1992. Several ongoing SCI-related projects are applying the SCI technology to new areas or extending it to more difficult problems. P1596.1 defines the architecture of a bridge between SCI and VME; P1596.2 compatibly extends the cache coherence mechanism for efficient operation with kiloprocessor systems; P1596.3 defines new low-voltage (about 0.25 V) differential signals suitable for low power interfaces for CMOS or GaAs VLSI implementations of SCI; P1596.4 defines a high performance memory chip interface using these signals; P1596.5 defines data transfer formats for efficient interprocessor communication in heterogeneous multiprocessor systems. This paper reports the current status of SCI, related standards, and new projects.