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Applied Micro X-Gene X-C1 ARMv8 Server Development Board is Now Available for Pre-order

February 15th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Applied Micro X-Gene is the very first processor to use ARM 64-bit architecture (ARMv8), not Cortex A53 or Cortex A57, but a custom implementation, and last year we’ve seen the company’s ARMv8 development board running 4 Linux virtual machines via KVM. The platform, called X-Gene X-C1, can now be pre-ordered to develop private cloud, public cloud, and enterprise applications.

Applied Micro X-C1 64-Bit ARM Server Development Platform

Applied Micro X-C1 64-Bit ARM Server Development Platform

There’s limited public information for now, but I could derive specifications from a few places on the web and available pictures:

  • SoC – Applied Micro X-Gene eight core ARMv8 processor @ 2+GHz
  • System Memory – 2x DDR3 memory slots
  • Storage – 4x SATA 2/3 ports + SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 3x 10 Gb Ethernet ports
  • USB – 2x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, 1x mini USB port
  • Expansion – PCIe Gen 3
  • Monitoring  DB9 Serial port
  • Power – ATX

I don’t know what’s the metallic connector with holes between the two Ethernet ports connector and two USB 3.0 + Ethernet ports connector. Anybody knows? [Update: According to comments below, it could be an SPF or SPF+ slot. (enhanced small form-factor pluggable)]


The development platform will be delivered with the following software tools and stacks:

  • Comprehensive Software Development Kit for software development and evaluation of the AppliedMicro X-Gene Family of products
  • Quick start with OS, Boot Loader and Application Development
  • Full customization and performance evaluation out of the box
  • Full source code, binaries and tool chain provided
  • Support for all the hardware features and accelerators within X-Gene
  • Server based applications like LAMP and OpenStack out of the box Documentation

To find detailed information about the server development platform (hardware and software), you’ll need to register, and wait for approval. I’ve done that and waiting. I may be able to share information if I get approved, as the terms and conditions restrict redistribution of information, at least that’s what the automatic email says…

There’s a little bit information about software support in a presentation by Jon Masters, Red Hat’s chief ARM architect, at LISA (Large Installation System Adminitration conference) 2013, at the end of November of last year. At the time, X-C1 was running Fedora 19 Remix and only supported Aarch64, not Aarch32 (32-bit ARM), with over 12,000 packages available including LAMP stack, and GlusterFS.

After registration, and manual approval, you can get more information and pre-order the development board on https://myxgene.apm.com/ which happens to be hosted on the X-C1 development board. There’s no mention of the price on Applied Micro website, but Legit Reviews checked out the board at ARM Techcon 2013, and was told it would cost $5,000 and be available in Q1 2014.

  1. February 15th, 2014 at 19:49 | #1

    Charbax also filmed the board at ARM Techcon 2013.

  2. Tim
    February 15th, 2014 at 19:53 | #2

    I believe the connector with holes is a 10Gb fiber adapter. You would put a fiber SFP interface in it:


  3. vtomin
    February 15th, 2014 at 19:59 | #3

    Perhaps it’s a SFP slot.

  4. February 15th, 2014 at 20:19 | #4


  5. Peter
    February 15th, 2014 at 20:57 | #5

    The metallic connector between the RH-45 ports is a SFP+ for the onboard 10G ethernet connector.

  6. enclis
    February 15th, 2014 at 20:59 | #6

    It is SFP connector, probably for SFP+ modules.

  7. Daniel
    February 15th, 2014 at 21:08 | #7

    I believe that the metallic connector with holes between the two Ethernet ports connector and two USB 3.0 is a SFP socket.

  8. Marius
    February 15th, 2014 at 23:51 | #8

    So this will cost $5000 ? Well I want one but surely not for this price. Guess prices will come down eventually.

  9. kcg
    February 16th, 2014 at 01:07 | #9

    Hmm, $5k? Yes, I know this is 4-issue ARMv8 core, but the price is too prohibitive for hobby open-source porter so I’ll wait for AMD A1100 reference board which I hope will be priced more ARM-like. Well, this provide *just* 3-issues cores, but for porting this does not matter that much. 😉

  10. Gabriel
    February 16th, 2014 at 01:07 | #10

    The metallic connector looks like a SFP slot.

  11. Hans Ulli Kroll
    February 16th, 2014 at 02:48 | #11

    The metallic connector looks like a SFP for fiber optics or copper networks
    -> Small Form-factor Pluggable Transceiver


  12. Marius
    February 16th, 2014 at 03:35 | #12

    Yes, my thoughts exactly. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get that for a more decent price. Though they might just price that a very “low” price of $1000.
    I’d pay like $200-$300 but not more so I guess I’ll probably have to wait till prices come down to this level.

  13. February 16th, 2014 at 05:44 | #13

    “what’s the metallic connector with holes”

    That’s a SFP+ slot for fiber and other 10GbE physical layer transceivers:


  14. February 16th, 2014 at 14:39 | #14

    The connector looks like a SFP or SFP+ port. It is a very common port on servers for 1Gbps/10Gbps and comes in optical or copper versions.

  15. .jon
    February 16th, 2014 at 16:16 | #15

    Want this. For max. 300€, without fiber, without 10Gb (3x 1Gb is enoigh) and SmartOS KVM compatibility.

  16. davidlt
    February 16th, 2014 at 18:02 | #16

    Hopefully Samsung does its magic and produces Exynos 6 / Exynos S with ARMv8 (AArch64). That’s probably the only way to get AArch64 dev board under $300 in short term.

  17. Fossxlorer
    February 16th, 2014 at 19:32 | #17

    Is the price really $5000? If so it’s totally out of discussion for me.

  18. February 16th, 2014 at 20:11 | #18

    I’d guess the price includes the board and SDK. It is (or was?) actually quite common for development boards targeted to businesses. The price is not confirmed but that’s apparently what Applied Micro told Legit Reviews at ARM Techcon 2013 in October.

  19. kcg
    February 17th, 2014 at 03:56 | #19

    My bet is on AMD. Look for cheapest 1U x86 server prices. AMD/ARM will need to go lower and if they are going to partner with Tyan, Supermicro & Co, then we may get cheap hardware. We just need to wait probably for production since those reference boards are quite pricey. Look for example for Freescale T4240 line, developer board $4k, reference board $1.5k.

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