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Posts Tagged ‘armv8’

Cavium ThunderX based Scaleway ARMv8 Cloud Servers Go for 2.99 Euros per Month and Up

April 28th, 2017 11 comments

Scaleway launched 32-bit ARM server hosting services in 2015 for 10 Euros per month, before dropping the price to 2.99 Euros per month half-year later, and now the company has just launched a new offering with 64-bit ARM servers powered by Cavium ThunderX processor going for 2.99 to 11.99 Euros per month depending on configuration.

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The processors are equipped with DDR4 ECC memory, and all three services included unlimited transfer, so you don’t need to pay for any bandwidth fee. While the price is shown per month, you’ll be billed by the hour (0.006 Euro/h for ARM64-2GB), so if you are using those for development it may even cost less per month, as you can turn them off when not working.

All server are located in a Paris data center in France, and runs Ubuntu 16.04, but more operating systems and “InstantApps” will be added to the selection. More servers will soon be available in their Netherlands datacenters (AMS1).

You can add a new ARMv8 server in Scaleway dashboard to get started with the new servers. You’ll find a few more details on Scaleway Virtual Cloud Servers page.

Categories: Cavium, Linux, Ubuntu Tags: armv8, Linux, scaleway, server, ubuntu

SolidRun MACCHIATOBin Mini-ITX Networking Board is Now Available for $349 and Up

April 24th, 2017 30 comments

SolidRun MACCHIATOBin is a mini-ITX board powered by Marvell ARMADA 8040 quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz and designed for networking and storage applications thanks to 10 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, and 1 Gbps Ethernet interfaces, as well as three SATA port. The company is now taking order for the board (FCC waiver required) with price starting at $349 with 4GB RAM.

MACCHIATOBin board specifications:

  • SoC – ARMADA 8040 (88F8040) quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with accelerators (packet processor, security engine, DMA engines, XOR engines for RAID 5/6)
  • System Memory – 1x DDR4 DIMM with optional ECC and single/dual chip select support; up to 16GB RAM
  • Storage – 3x SATA 3.0 port, micro SD slot, SPI flash, eMMC flash
  • Connectivity – 2x 10Gbps Ethernet via copper or SFP, 2.5Gbps via SFP,  1x Gigabit Ethernet via copper
  • Expansion – 1x PCIe-x4 3.0 slot, Marvell TDM module header
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 headers (internal),  1x USB-C port for Marvell Modular Chip (MoChi) interfaces (MCI)
  • Debugging – 20-pin connector for CPU JTAG debugger, 1x micro USB port for serial console, 2x UART headers
  • Misc – Battery for RTC, reset header, reset button, boot and frequency selection, fan header
  • Power Supply – 12V DC via power jack or ATX power supply
  • Dimensions – Mini-ITX form factor (170 mm x 170 mm)

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The board ships with either 4GB or 16GB DDR4 memory, a micro USB cable for debugging, 3 heatsinks, an optional 12V DC/110 or 220V AC power adapter, and an optional 8GB micro SD card. The company also offers a standard mini-ITX case for the board. The board supports mainline Linux or Linux 4.4.x, mainline U-Boot or U-Boot 2015.11, UEFI (Linaro UEFI tree), Yocto 2.1, SUSE Linux, netmap, DPDK, OpenDataPlane (ODP) and OpenFastPath. You’ll find software and hardware documentation in the Wiki.

The Wiki actually shows the board for $299 without any memory, but if you go to the order page, you can only order a version with 4GB RAM for $349, or one with 16GB RAM for $498 with the optional micro SD card and power adapter bringing the price up to $518.

$40 NanoPi K2 Board Powered by Amlogic S905 Processor Competes with ODROID-C2, Raspberry Pi 3

April 13th, 2017 35 comments

Hardkernel ODROID-C2 board is getting some direct competition with FriendlyELEC’s NanoPi K2 development board powered with Amlogic S905 processor with 2GB RAM, a very similar form factor, and many of the same features, which together with Khadas Vim (Pro) brings the number of low cost Amlogic based development boards to three.

NanoPi K2 board specifications with differences compared to ODROID-C2 highlighted in bold or stricken-through:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with penta core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – eMMC module socket, micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211F), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6212 module) with chip antenna + IPX connector
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports (GL825G USB hub) + micro USB OTG port for power and adata
  • Expansion Header
    • 40-pin header with GPIO, I2C, UART, ADC, PWM, SPDIF, and CVBS
    • 7-pin I2S interface
  • Debugging – 4-pin Serial console port (3.3V)
  • Misc – Status & power LEDs, IR receiver, boot selector, power jumper, power key (populated)
  • Power Supply –  5V/2A DC input via 4.0×1.7mm power barrel, or micro USB port (selectable via jumper)
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56mm

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The main difference with ODROID-C2 is then the presence of a Wireless module. NanoPi K2 form factor also matches Raspberry Pi 3, so many – but not all – accessories designed for Raspberry Pi boards should work on the board. An Android 5.1 image is provided for the board, and later an Ubuntu image will be released too. More hardware and software details. including instructions to build from source (U-boot, Linux 3.14…) can be found in the Wiki. So Hardkernel has clearly an edge here, with Ubuntu 16.04 with GPU and VPU support, Android Marshmallow image, and several community supported images. Since the boards are so similar, I’d expect the software gap to narrow over time.

The board sells for $39.99 + shipping on FriendARM website, compared to $46 + shipping for ODROID-C2 board. FriendlyELEC will ship from China, but Hardkernel has a distribution network, so the final price with shipping and taxes will depend on your country of residence. The company has also designed a heatsink + fan kit for the board as pictured above, which adds $5.99 to the price. Since Hardkernel’s eMMC modules can be fairly expensive, I was interested in finding out the price for those offered by FriendlyELEC. The only problem is that there aren’t any yet…

Azul Systems’ Zulu Embedded is a Build of OpenJDK for ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and x86 Compliant with Java SE standard

April 6th, 2017 3 comments

Yesterday as I wrote about the Embedded Systems Conference 2017 schedule I came across a potentially interesting talk entitled “Building A Brain With Raspberry Pi and Zulu Embedded JVM” by Azul Systems that will explain how to build a brain emulator using a cluster of Raspberry Pi boards. I wanted to find more about it, but I have not been able to find any details about the project/demo at this stage. However, I could still learn a bit more about Zulu Embedded, which is said to be an open source Java Virtual Machine based on OpenJDK, compliant with Java SE standard, working on 32-bit & 64-bit ARM & x86, MIPS, and PowerPC, as well as  multiple operating systems.

Some of the key features of Zulu Embedded include:

  • Java Support – Java 6, 7, 8, and 9 when available
  • Java Configurations – Headless, headful, or compact Java Compact Profiles
  • Hardware – ARMv7 and 32-bit ARMv8, ARM64, Intel/AMD x86, 32-bit and 64-bit, MIPS, and PowerPC
  • Platforms & Operating Systems
    • Linux 32/64-bit – RHEL 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, SLES 11 sp1/2/3, 12, CentOS 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, Ubuntu 10.04, 12.04, 14.04 & 16.04, Debian Wheezy & Jessie, Wind River Linux, and Oracle Linux
    • Windows 32/64-bit – Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10/IoT/Mobile, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012R2, Nano
    • Mac OS X
    • Hypervisors – VMware, Hyper-V, KVM
    • Cloud – Azure, AWS, Google, Snappy, Docker
  • Packages – ZIP, MSI and DEB are available. Custom packages on request.
  • Memory Footprint – 11 MB to 250+ MB

Some of the advantage of Zulu Embedded is that it is 100% open source released under GPLv2 with Classpath Exception (I could not find the source code however), and fully certified and compliant with OpenJDK community technology compatibility kit (TCK) from Oracle.

Zulu Embedded is free to download for ARM Linux 32-bit (hard and soft float), and x86 Windows & Linux 64-bit, as well as x86 Windows 10 IoT Core 32-bit for MinnowBoard MAX. You’ll need to contact the company for other configurations.

It’s been used in program such as openHab 2.0, which replaced Oracle JDK with Zulu Embedded JDK, since it can be freely redistributed (no licenses required), and performance and stability feels exactly the same according to comments on Github. One person explained how to install it on the Raspberry Pi board (note: early access program is not needed anymore, since the binary has been publicly released), and the installation procedure is just the same as with OpenJDK.

You can visit Zulu Embedded product page for more information.

Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 Board Replaces Allwinner H3 by Allwinner H5 for $1 More

March 28th, 2017 20 comments

It’s hard to keep up, but Shenzhen Xunlong has launched another Orange Pi board, as two weeks after introducing Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 development board, the company has now introduced “Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5” board, with the exact same specification, except Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 32-bit processor has been replaced by Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 64-bit processor.

Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 board specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with 2+4 core Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI port
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Ampak AP6212) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI port
  • Expansion headers – Unpopulated 26-pin “Raspberry Pi B+” header + 13-pin header with headphone, 2x USB 2.0, TV out, microphone and IR receiver signals
  • Debugging – 3-pin serial console header
  • Misc – 2x LEDs for power and status
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 48 x 46 mm
  • Weight – 20 grams

Allwinner H5 is pin-to-pin compatible with Allwinner H3, so the PCB is exactly the same. The upgrade brings slightly better CPU performance, as well as – in theory – better GPU performance, but the latter might not be usable right now (in Linux) due to a lack of software support. Power consumption might be a little higher too (TBC).

The company claims support for Android, Ubuntu, Debian, and “Raspbian”, but I can’t double check since their website won’t load (yet again). Armbian will likely have Ubuntu Xenial nightly images with mainline Linux ready soon, like they did for NanoPi NEO 2 and Orange Pi PC 2, and while they are usable for some applications, you should not expect everything to work just yet.

The board costs just $1 more than the H3 version, as it sells for $19.90 + shipping on Aliexpress.

NXP Introduces Kinetis K27/K28 MCU, QorIQ Layerscape LS1028A Industrial SoC, and i.MX 8X Cortex A35 SoC Family

March 15th, 2017 3 comments

NXP pushed out several press releases with the start of Embedded World 2017 in Germany, including three new micro-controllers/processors addressing different market segments: Kinetis K27/K28 MCU Cortex M4 MCU family, QorIQ Layerscape LS1028A industrial applications processor, and i.MX 8X SoC family for display and audio applications, 3D graphic display clusters, telematics and V2X (Vehicle to everything).

NXP Kinetis K27/K28 MCU

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NXP Kinetis K27/K28 MCU family is based on an ARM Cortex-M4 core clocked at up to 150 MHz with FPU,and includes up to 1MB embedded SRAM, 2MB flash, and especially target portable display applications.

Kinetis K27/K28 MCUs share the following main features:

  • 2x I2S interfaces, 2x USB Controllers (High-Speed with integrated High-Speed PHY and Full-Speed) and mainstream analog peripherals
  • 32-bit SDRAM memory controller and QuadSPI interface supporting eXecution-In-Place (XiP)
  • True Random Number Generator, Cyclic Redundancy Check, Memory Mapped Cryptographic Acceleration Unit

K28 supports 3 input supply voltage rails (1.2V, 1.8V and 3V) + separate VBAT domain, implements a Power Management Controller supporting Core Voltage Bypass and can be powered by an external PMIC, and is available in 169 MAPBGA (9x9mm2, 0.65mm pitch) and 210 WLCSP (6.9×6.9mm2, 0.4 mm pitch) packages.

K27 supports 1.71V to 3.6V input voltage + separate VBAT domain, and is offered in 169 MAPBGA (9x9mm, 0.65mm pitch) package only.

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FRDM-K28F development board will allow you to play with the new MCUs’ capabilities. It features a Kinetis K28F microconroller, on-board discrete power management, accelerometer, QuadSPI serial flash, USB high-speed connector and full-speed USB OpenSDA. Optional add-on boards allows for USB-Type C, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity, and a 5” LCD display board with capacitive touch.

Software development can be done through MCUXpresso SDK with system startup code, peripheral drivers, USB and connectivity stacks, middleware, and real-time operating system (RTOS) kernels.

Kinetis K27/K28 MCU family will be start selling in April 2017. Visit NXP K2x USB page for more information.

QorIQ Layerscape LS1028A

LS1028A Block Diagram

NXP QorIQ Layerscape LS1028A SoC comes with two 64-bit ARMv8 core, support real-time processing for industrial control, as well as virtual machines for edge computing in the IoT. It also integrates a GPU and LCD controller enable Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems, and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) capabilities based on the IEEE 802.1 standards with a four-port TSN switch and two separate TSN Ethernet controllers.

The processor especially targets “Factory 4.0” automation, process automation, programmable logic controllers, motion controllers, industrial IoT gateway, and Human Machine Interface (HMI).

OEMs can start developing TSN-enabled systems using LS1021ATSN reference design platform based on the previous LS1021A processor in order to quickens time-to-market.The reference design provides four switched Gigabit Ethernet TSN ports, and ships with an open-source, industrial Linux SDK with real-time performance. Applications written for LS1021ATSN will be compatible with the LS1028A SoC since the API calls won’t change.

It’s unclear when LS1028A will become available, but it will be available for 15 years after launch, and you’ll find a few more details on the product page. You could also visit NXP’s booth (4A-220) at Embedded World 2017 to the reference design in action.

NXP i.MX 8X ARM Cortex-A35 Processors

Block Diagram of NXP i.MX 8X family

The last announcement will not really be news to regular readers of CNX Software, since we covered i.MX 8X processors last year using an NXP presentation. As previously known, i.MX 8X family comes with two to four 64-bit ARMv8-A Cortex-A35 cores, as well as a Cortex-M4F core, a Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP, Vivante hardware accelerated graphics and video engines, advanced image processing, advanced SafeAssure display controller, LPDDR4 and DDR3L memory support, and set of peripherals. The processor have been designed to drive up to three simultaneous displays (2x 1080p screens and one parallel WVGA display), and three models have been announced:

  • i.MX 8QuadXPlus with four Cortex-A35 cores, a Cortex-M4F core, a 4-shader GPU, a multi-format VPU and a HiFi 4 DSP
  • i.MX 8DualXPlus with two Cortex-A35 cores, a Cortex-M4F core, a 4-shader GPU, a multi-format VPU and a HiFi 4 DSP
  • i.MX 8DualX with two Cortex-A35 cores, a Cortex-M4F core, a 2-shader GPU, a multi-format VPU and a HiFi 4 DSP

The processors are expected to be used in automotive applications such as  infotainment and cluster, industrial control and vehicles, robotics, healthcare, mobile payments, handheld devices, and so on.

The i.MX 8QuadXPlus and 8DualXPlus application processors will sample in Q3 2017 to selected partners. More details may be found on NXP i.MX8X product page.

MACOM X-Gene 3 Server-on-Chip is Equipped with 32 64-bit ARM Cores Clocked at 3.0 GHz

March 11th, 2017 9 comments

MACOM, having recently completed the acquisition of AppliedMicro, has now announced sampling of X-Gene 3 Server-on-a-Chip (SoC) with 16-nanometer FinFET process technology. X-Gene 3 features 32-core ARMv8 cores clocked at up to 3.0 GHz, 8 DDR4 channels, 42 PCIe Gen 3 lanes, SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0.

X-Gene 3 Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

X-Gene 3 SoC key features and specifications

  • CPU – 32x 64-bit ARMv8 cores @ up to 3.0 GHZ (base freq.) / 3.3 GHz (turbo freq.)
  • Cache – 32MB L3 cache
  • Memory IF – 8x DDR4-2667 channels with ECC and RAS supporting up to 16DIMMs for up to 1TB RAM
  • Storage – SATA 3.0 interfaces
  • 42x PCIe Gen 3 lanes with 8x controllers
  • USB 3.0 interfaces
  • Max. TDP – 125 Watts (Expected)
  • Process – 16nm FinFET TSMC

X-Gene 3 is said to offer 4 to 6 better performance compared to X-Gene 2, and match “comparable x86 processors in CPU throughput, per-thread performance and power efficiency, while offering advantages in memory bandwidth and total cost of ownership”.

A white paper by the Linley group has some more insights about the performance:

The company expects the chip to deliver a SPECint_rate2006 (peak) score of at least 500 when running at its peak speed of 3.3GHz and DDR4-2667 and with some additional hardware and compiler tuning. This score is well ahead of that of any other ARM processor and similar to that of mainstream Xeon E5 processors.

In addition, the processor should achieve a single-thread SPEC_int2006 (peak) score of 24. Other CPU tests such as CoreMark and Dhrystone deliver similarly impressive results, outscoring leading ARM cores such as Cortex-A72 and custom designs from Cavium, Qualcomm, and Samsung. With eight DDR4 channels, X-Gene 3 also posts excellent scores on memory tests. For example, the processor scores 67.1GB/s on Stream Copy using DDR4-2133 and could exceed 80GB/s when it uses DDR4-2667.

They also compared X-Gene 3 SoC directly to Xeon E5 processor in the table below using numbers provided by vendors, or estimates, not independent benchmarks.

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MACOM’s new SoC appears to have the edge when it comes to memory bandwidth, however, they note that X-Gene 3 lags Xeon E5 in floating-point performance, X-Gene 3 will still do well on integer-only workloads such as deep learning used for voice services (e.g. Alexa), image classification, and other tasks.

MACOM is now shipping X-Gene 3 to selected partners. Some publicly available documents for APM883xxx-X3 (codename for X-Gene 3) should eventually be available on APM website.

Via Hexus, and thanks to Tadej for the tip.

System76 Starling Pro ARM Server Powered by 2 Cavium ThunderX 64-bit Processors Sells for $6400 and Up

March 3rd, 2017 11 comments

64-bit ARM servers are starting to show up more and more for sale, and after servers such as Softiron Overdrive 1000, Avantek H270-T70, and Gigabyte MP30-AR0, System76, a company selling only Ubuntu powered computers and servers, has launched Startling Pro ARM server equipped with two Cavium ThunderX_CP 48-core processors, and a choice of two operating systems: Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS 64-bit or Ubuntu 16.10 64-bit.

System76 Starling Pro ARM “stap1” server specifications:

  • Processor – 2× Cavium ThunderX_CP 48 core 64-bit ARMv8 processor @ up to 2.5 GHz (96 cores in total)
  • System Memory – Up to 1024 GB quad-channel registered ECC DDR4 @ 2400MHz
  • Storage – Up to 4x 3.5″ drives, 32 TB in total
  • Video Output – VGA port
  • Virtualization – ARM Virtualization Host Extensions
  • Networking – 3x 40-Gigabit QSFP+ (Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable+), 4x 10 Gigabit SFP+, 1x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Expansion – 1x PCI Express x16 (Gen3 x8)
  • USB –  4x USB 3.0 (2x front/ 2x back)
  • Serial – 1x COM port
  • Misc – Power on/off button, reset button, ID switch button, LEDs (Power, ID, HHD Activity, System status, LAN Activity, ID)
  • Power Supply – 2x 650 Watts with redundancy
  • Dimensions – 43.0 × 4.4 × 62.5 cm
  • Weight – 13 kg (based weight, varies on configuration)

Cavium has four versions of their ThunderX processor optimize for compute, storage, secure compute, and network, and ThunderX_CP model is optimized for Compute workloads such as cloud web servers, content delivery, web caching, search and social media.

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You’ll find more details on System76 Starling Pro product page, and if you click on Design + Buy button at the top of that page, you’ll be able to built your server with a combination of memory, storage, rail kit, accessories, and support (Ubuntu Advantage) options. Price starts at $6,399 with 16GB + 16 GB memory for the two processors, and a 250 GB SSD, but you can go up to $27,528 by maxing out memory to 1TB (512GB per processor with 8 64GB RAM modules each) and 16TB of SSD storage (4x 4GB).

Via Olof Johansson