New SoCs integrate multiple 64 bits ARMv8 cores

The exciting new 64 bits core from ARM that I wrote about a few days ago has already created some interesting products such as MIW’s ARMBlock16. The new ARM core is going to change the market for low power servers and challenge Intel on an area it has been dominating for so many years.

With Applied Micro Circuits’ (AppliedMicro) announcement of its X-Gene (Fig. 2) chip architecture. This multicore Server-on-a-Chip architecture will incorporate multiple ARMv8 cores along with interfaces such as PCI Express, SATA and Gigabit Ethernet. Intel has been moving towards a single chip platform but its server solutions are still multichip configurations. Initially AppliedMicro will be providing X-Gene developers with a board based on Xilinx Virtex FPGAs (Fig. 4) that implement the X-Gene architecture. This will be shrunk to a single chip when it is delivered next year. AppliedMicro will be using 40nm and 28nm technology. (source EEDesign).

The Mobile Integration Workgroup (MIW) ARMBlock16™ is the highest density ARM® based server design on the market today supporting a modular design that when combined can provide up to 48 ARM® server class nodes per 2U enclosure while leveraging existing enterprise class IPMI and SNMP based monitoring and management infrastructures to allow seamless integration the tools operators use today in their datacenters.

The ARMBlock16™ Is the entry-level product offering from MIW and hosts up to 16 Marvell AP510 server nodes while consuming less than 100W under full load. Designed from the ground up to be server class, each board has 4GB of fast 1066MHz DDR 3 ECC memory; a SATA2.0 bus supporting traditional 1.8″ SSD drives as well as MIW’s newest SSD on PCB drives up to 128GB in size, all networked together by its on board 20 port 1GbE switch.

In the new age of green computing, the ARMBlock16™ sets the new standard for low power. The strengths of the ARM® architecture’s low power feature are the core of the design and each node at full power consumes as little as 1.5W of power and its 90% efficient power supply will cleanly supply the needs of the system. The entire ArmBlock16™ has been instrumented for power monitoring with statistics available for multiple power domains throughout the enclosure allowing administrator’s to know how their power resources are being consumed. MIW’s design carefully manages inrush at startup to ensure no unnecessary load on datacenter infrastructure allowing higher utilization of power circuits per rack.


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