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Posts Tagged ‘fedora’

HPC Performance & Power Usage Comparison – Intel Xeon E3 vs Intel Atom C2720 vs Applied Micro X-Gene 1 vs IBM Power 8

April 14th, 2015 6 comments

Last year, the CERN published a paper comparing Applied Micro X-Gene (64-bit ARM) vs Intel Xeon (64-bit x86) Performance and Power Usage, and they’ve now added IBM Power 8 and Intel Atom Avoton C2750 processor to the mix in a new presentation entitled “A look beyond x86: OpenPOWER & AArch64“.
ARM_x86_Power_8_Test_Systems
So four systems based on Intel Xeon E3-1285L, Intel Atom C2750, Applied Micro X-Gene 1, and IBM Power 8 were compared, all running Fedora 21, except the HP Moonshot 1500 ARM plarform running Ubuntu 14.04 and an older kernel. All four systems use gcc 4.9.2, and Racktivity intelligent PDUs were used for power measurement.

I’ll just share some of their results, you can read the presentation, or go through the benchmark results to find out more.

HEP-SPEC06_Results

HEP-SPEC06 Benchmark (Click to Enlarge)

HEP-SPEC06 is a new High Energy Physics (HEP) benchmark for measuring CPU performance developed by the HEPiX Benchmarking Working Group, and here it’s not surprising to see the low power solutions under-perform the more powerful Intel Xeon and Power 8 processors, with the latter taking the crown.

Geant_4_ParFullCMS

Geant 4 ParFullCMS (Click to Enlarge)

Geant 4 simulates the passage of particles through matter, something that you would expect the CERN to do regularly. Intel Xeon E3 outperforms  IBM Power8 processor here.

But let’s move on to power consumption, and performance per watt.

Idle Power Consumption (Click to Enlarge)

Idle Power Consumption (Click to Enlarge)

IBM OpenPower 8 has a much higher power consumption than other systems, and HP Moonshot ARM 64-bit X-Gene 1 consumes more than both Intel servers. The chart under full load (not shown here) also shows a similar pattern.

HEP_SPEC06_Per_Watt

HEP-SPEC06 per Watt (Click to Enlarge)

When it comes to performance per watt however, both HP Moonshot ARM and Power 8 systems are the least efficient here, and Intel systems provide the best ratio. Bear in mind that X-Gene 1 is manufactured with a 40nm process, while Applied Micro X-Gene 2  and 3 will be manufactured using 28nm and 16 nm FinFET processes, so some large efficiency gains could be expected here.

We may find out soon, as the CERN expects to add these two new processors, as well a Cavium ThunderX to their benchmarks in the future.

Thanks to David for the tip.

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VX2 Celeron J1800 / J1900 mini PCs with 500GB Hard Drive Sell for $180 and Up (Promo)

April 8th, 2015 10 comments

CSQ CSW9 is an Intel Celeron J900 based mini PC with a 500GB HDD that normally sells for a little over $200 on Aliexpress once shipping is included. But today, as I found a list of Geekbuying Coupons via Google+, I noticed the device was listed on Geekbuying as VX2, and both Celeron J1800 and J1900 versions were available for respectively $179.99 and $189.99 after applying MYMVECMY coupon, which looks like a decent deals since a 500GB 2.5″ SATA drive costs about $45.

VX2_mini_PCSpecifications listed on Geekbuying are mostly the same as for CSQ CSW9 except some difference highlighted in bold or stricken-through when removed:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron J1800 dual core processor @ 2.41 GHz (base) / 2.58 GHz (burst),  or J1900 Quad core processor  @ 2.0 GHz (base) / 2.41 GHz (Burst) with Intel HD graphics (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3L 1066/1333 MHz
  • Storage – 2.5″ 500GB SATA hard drive + micro SD card slot + optional 32GB to 128GB eMMC flash
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a + VGA with dual independent display support
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet as option), 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Audio – Realtek ALC269 HD audio codec, 1x headphone jack
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port.
  • Misc – IR receiver, power button, and power LED
  • Power Supply – 19V/2.1A
  • Battery – 2,000 mAh (only claimed by one seller)
  • Dimensions – 153.4 x 153.4 x 38 mm
  • Weight – 440 grams

VX2_mini_PC_HDMI_VGA_Ethernet
The computer only ships with its power supply, is said to come with Windows 8.1 pre-installed (likely without proper license), and the company claims Android & Windows 8.1 Dual Boot, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.. can also be installed.

GeekBuying $50 coupon in only valid until April 14,2015. although I’ve seen them withdraw coupons earlier, if a promotion is a bit too popular… An alternative is eBay where VX2 J1800 sells for $188.99 and VX2 J1900 for $197.99.

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Scaleway Provides Dedicated ARM Servers for 10 Euros per Month, 0.02 Euro per Hour

April 2nd, 2015 3 comments

Earlier this year, Online Labs launched a beta hosting program using custom-designed C1 dedicated servers powered by Marvell Armada 370/XP quad core processor. The company has now launched a commercial service called Scaleway providing hosting service on these baremetal servers for 9.99 Euros per month, or 0.02 Euro per hour, as well as a “Infinite Storage” service with 1GB data for 0.02 Euros per month.

OnlineLabs-C1-FrontBoard

Rack with 18 C1 Servers

Here are the details of the 10 Euros plan:

  • Server based on Marvell Armada 370/XP quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor
  • Memory – 2GB Memory
  • Storage – 50GB SSD Disk
  • 1x Reserved public IPv4
  • 200Mbit/s – Unmetered bandwith
  • Operating Systems – Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, ArchLinux ARM. Docker supported.

That’s no a VPS, but a dedicated server. For reference, I currently pay around $20 per month (Linode) for a server with an Intel Xeon E5-2680 dual core processor with 2 GB RAM and 50 GB SSD storage, and 3 TB free monthly bandwidth to host this blog. The Intel processor should be much more powerful than the Marvel one, but depending on your application, it might be enough. Overall Scaleway offer appears to be a decent deals, especially if you just need a server for development, where you’ll be charged per hour, so If you use the server 50 hour in a month, you’d only pay 1 Euros.

There are also options for higher bandwidth (1Gbit/s), 99.95% / 99.99% guaranteed uptime, extra storage (up to 1TB), bandwidth protection, and more. A simple REST API is available with the code soon-to-be on github.

You can find out more and/or sign-up for the service on Scaleway website.

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pcDuino3B Development Board Adds Gigabit Ethernet Support

February 20th, 2015 6 comments

pcDuino3 development board features Allwinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 SoC with support for SATA, HDMI, LVDS, Wi-Fi, Fast Ethernet, and Arduino compatible headers. Linksprite has now an updated version of the board that adds Gigabit Ethernet, while leaving the rest of the specs unmodified.

Pcduino_V3B

pcDuino3B (aka pcDuino V3B) specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.0 GHz, with Mali 400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DRAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash, SATA connector, and microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP support, LVDS header
  • Audio Out –  3.5mm analog audio interface, I2S stereo digital audio interface
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 1x USB host, 1x USB OTG
  • Expansion Headers – Arduino UNO extension interface with 14xGPIO, 2xPWM, 6xADC, 1xUART, 1xSPI, 1xI2C.
  • Camera – MIPI camera support
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power – 5V, 2000mA, support for Li-Po Battery
  • Dimensions – 121mm x 65mm

The board can run Ubuntu 12.04 / 14.04, Fedora, or Android 4.2 with the images available on pcDuino3 Nano / pcDuino3B download page. Documentation, and tutorials are available on pcDuino3 page.

pcDuino3 (Left) vs pcDuino3B (Right)

pcDuino3 (Left) vs pcDuino3B (Right)

pcDuino3B sells for $59.99 on Linksprite store plus shipping, except if your order exceeds $99 in which case shipping is included. How you also find it on Ebay for $55 including shipping (Title refers to pcDuino3B, but description is for the 10/100M version, so better ask first). If you are based in Europe, you could consider order from EmbeddedComputer.NL or LDLC for a little over 60 Euros including VAT in order to avoid potentially nasty surprises from your local customs office.

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HiSilicon D02 Server Board Supports up to 64 ARM Cortex A57 Cores

February 16th, 2015 10 comments

HiSilicon has showcased their latest server SoC and board at Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015, with up to two processors with 32 Cortex A57 cores @ 2.1GHz, 8 DIMM DDR3 slots (up to 128 GB RAM), 12 SATA ports, 4 PCIe slots, 10GbE / GbE ports.

HiSilicon_D02D02 board specifications:

  • SoC – Hisilicon PhosphorV660 Hip05 with 16 to 32 ARM Cortex-A57 cores @ up to 2.1GHz and 1MB L2 cache/cluster, 32MB L3 cache
  • System Memory – 2x Memory channel 4x DDR3 DIMM(4x DIMM per processor)
  • Storage
    • 12x SAS 3.0 ports @ 12 Gbps (8 for the first processor, 4 for the second).  SAS port are compatible with SATA drives. You may want to read SAS vs SATA post for more details about SAS.
    • 2x SPI Flash 158Mb BIOS/UEFI
    • 1Gb NorFlash
  • Connectivity – 2×10/100/1000Mbit/s Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2x xGE SFP+ ports (10Gb/s)
  • Expansion – 2x 8x PCI express interfaces per processor (4 in total)USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Debugging – 1x UART interface, 1x ARM Tracer connector, 1x JTAG interface
  • Misc – RTC battery
  • Power – ATX power supply
  • Dimensions – 305 x xyz mm (SSI-EEB/E-ATX Compatible). xyz = 330, 257, 272, 264, or 267 (Not sure yet)

The board can run Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE, or Fedora. The company has released a hacking manual for D02 board, where you can find more details, and learn how to build the kernel, and hack around with Grub and UEFI among other things.

For example, provided you’ve already installed the right development tools,. including Aarch64 toolchain, you should be able to build the kernel for the board as follows:

git clone  https://github.com/hisilicon/estuary
cd estuary
export ARCH=arm64
export CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu-
make hulk_defconfig
make -j8
make ./hisilicon/hip05-d02.dtb

Binary files can also be downloaded directly from https://github.com/hisilicon/d02_binary.

Charbax filmed a demo of the board running Ubuntu, Linaro LAVA server, and LXC (Linux Containers). The board currently come with Hip05 SoC with 16 Cortex A57 cores, but in a couple of months, the version with 32 cores will come out, and and Linaro engineers working on ARM64 server should get their hands on several boards.

Via ARMdevices.net

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Online Labs pBox (C1 Node) is a mini ARM Server with 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports, mSATA and mPCIe Slots

January 30th, 2015 10 comments

Online Labs, a subsidiary of Iliad (free), recently launched hosting services with dedicated ARM servers based on Marvell processor with modules they call C1. The company has decided to design a baseboard (pBox) for C1 module, and, as I understand it, plans to sell it to the public. It’s an exciting development for those who are looking for affordable and tiny purpose built Linux ARM servers.

pBox_ARM_mini_Server

Preliminary C1 Node / pBox mini server specifications (based on C1 specs and bits of information gathered online):

  • SoC – Marvell Armada 370/XP quad core ARMv7 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 256 MB NAND flash + mSATA slot + eSATA port + micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • Expansion – mini PCie, 1x 20-pin header for expansion (no details yet)
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG connector
  • Power Supply – Power barrel (5V?)

C1_ARM_mini_Server_Board

Supported operating systems should be the same as on the hosted instances including Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10, Debian Wheezy, Gentoo, Fedora 20, and so on. You can watch the 3D render video of the board below to check out the mSATA and mPCIe slots under the board.


Availability has not been announced yet, except it’s expected shortly. The company also teased us with the message “time to upgrade your #RaspberryPi”, so it should be competitively priced too.

Via Vik and Sebastien BENOIT.

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Applied Micro XC-1 Server Development Board (Mustang) is Now Available to Developers for $895

December 4th, 2014 13 comments

64-bit ARM server boards such as Applied Micro XC-1 Mustang and AMD Opteron A1100 development kit have been available since the beginning of the year, but only to selected companies, and at a price of several thousand dollars per board. Applied Micro is now offering their X-Gene based XC-1 development board to individual developers for $895, or about ~40% discount to the $1495 company now have to pay for the board. It may also be available from distributors (part number: EV-883208-X1-PRB-1).

X-C1 Mustang Development Board

XC-1 Development Board

XC-1 board (codenamed Mustang) technical specifications:

  • SoC – Applied Micro X-GeneAPM883208-X1 8-core ARM 64-bit @ 1.6 GHz
  • System Memory – 2x DDR3 UDIMM memory slots up fitted with 2x 4GB sticks (8 GB), upgradable to 16GB
  • Storage – 1x 128Mbit SPI NOR Flash for booting, 1x SATA 3 ports, SD card slot, 1024Kb and 256Kb I2C EEPROM
  • Connectivity – 2x Gigagit port (SGMII), 10 GbE SFP+ cage, 1x Gigabit management Ethernet port (RGMII).  Note: the product brief only mentions 1x Gigabit Ethernet port,  1x Management port, but the Getting Started Guide and the picture above clearly shows all 4 Ethernet ports.
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x mini USB port (for JTAG)
  • Expansion – 1x PCIe x8 connector, expansion connector(s) for GPIOs
  • Debugging – JTAG (mini USB to JUAG) and trace connectors
  • Monitoring – DB9 Serial port
  • Misc – RTC, temperature monitor, BMC connector (I’m not sure what it is, and its purpose)
  • Power Supply – mini-ATX
  • Dimensions – 170 x 170 mm (mini-ITX form factor)

The kit includes X-Gene X-C1 board, a mini ITX Power Supply, a serial/USB FDTI cable, and documentation. I understand you can connect a SATA multiplier to get up to four 6TB hard drives connected to the board.

Mustang Block Diagram

Mustang Block Diagram (USB ports should be USB 3.0)

You’ll also be able to access Linux code (source and binary),  U-Boot firmware (source and binary), Linux development tools, sample application code, and schematics and layout files for X-C1 board. UEFI Tianocore bootloader, as well as Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, RedHat, Fedora, OpenSUSE are also available. Download links are apparently provided in the documentation that comes with the board, or you may be able to access these after registration at https://myapm.apm.com/.

This server board is not only capable of running Linux server distributions, and you can insert a PCIe graphics card (e.g. Nvidia GeForce 7600) in to the board, and Android 4.4 Kitkat developed by Linaro, as shown on a video by Charbax, which also includes an overview of the board, and an unboxing of the kit.

Via ARMDevices.net

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Applied Micro X-Gene (64-bit ARM) vs Intel Xeon (64-bit x86) Performance and Power Usage

October 26th, 2014 6 comments

A group of researcher at CERN have evaluated Applied Micro X-Gene 1 64-bit ARM XC-1 development board against Intel Xeon E5-2650 and Xeon Phi SE10/7120 systems, and one of them, David Abdurachmanov, presented their findings at ACAT’ 14 conference (Advanced Computing and Analysis Techniques) by listing some of the issues they had to port their software to 64-bit ARM, and performance efficiency of the three systems for data processing of High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments like those at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where performance-per-watt is important, as computing systems may scale to several hundred thousands cores.

HEP_Test_Systems_X-Gene_Intel_Xeon
Intel Xeon Phi platform based on Many Integrated Cores (MIC) computer architecture was launched the HPC market, and contrary to the table above features 61 physical cores. Applied X-Gene 1 (40nm process) was used instead of X-Gene 2 built on 28-nm process which was not available at the time. The ARM platform ran Fedora 19, whereas the Intel processor used Scientific Linux CERN 6.5.

The researchers run the CERN’s CMSSW applications for testing. Let’s jump to the results.

AOM_X-Gene_1_vs_Intel_XeonAs expected Intel Xeon processor and Phi coprocessor both have more performance than X-Gene 1 ARM SoC.

X-Gene_Intel_Xeon_Phi_Performance_Per_WattHowever, when it comes to performance-per-watt, APM X-Gene 1 is clearly ahead of Intel Xeon E5-2650 and there’s no comparison against Xeon Phi systems.

The conclusion of the report reads as follows:

We have built the software used by the CMS experiment at CERN, as well as portions of the OSG software stack, for ARMv8 64-bit. It has been made available in the official CMS software package repository and via the CVMFS distributed file system used by Grid sites.

Our initial validation has demonstrated that APM X-Gene 1 Server-on-Chip ARMv8 64-bit solution is a relevant and potentially interesting platform for heterogeneous high-density computing. In the absence of platform specific optimizations in the ARMv8 64-bit GCC compiler used, APM X-Gene 1 shows excellent promise that the APM X-Gene hardware will be a valid competitor to Intel Xeon in term of power efficiency as the software evolves. However, Intel Xeon Phi is a completely different category of product. As APM X-Gene 2 is being sampled right now, built on the TMSC 28nm process, we look forward to extending our work to include it into our comparison.

You can read the full report “Heterogeneous High Throughput Scientific Computing with APM X-Gene and Intel Xeon Phi” for details.

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