Gigabyte MP30-AR0 is an ARM Server Motherboard Powered by Applied Micro X-Gene 1 SoC

So far, it’s been pretty hard to buy ARM server motherboards for individuals, as most, if not all, products were reserved to corporate entities, but with Gigabyte MP30-AR0 server motherboard featuring the first generation Applied Micro X-Gene 64-bit ARM processor this might be about to change. [Update: As mentioned in comments I was probably wrong here, since the motherboard is listed on the Gigabyte’s B2B website, and not its B2C website].

MP30-AR0MP30-AR0 specifications:

  • Processor – AppliedMicro X-Gene 1 processor with 8 ARMv8 cores up to 2.4GHz (TDP 45W)
  • System Memory – 8 x DIMM slots, Single, dual rank UDIMM modules @ 1333/1600 NHz supported (up to 16GB)
  • Storage – 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports + 1x SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 2x 10GbE SFP+ LAN ports (integrated), 2x GbE LAN ports (Marvell 88E1512), 1x 10/100/1000 management LAN
  • Graphics – Video Integrated in Aspeed AST2400. 2D Video Graphic Adapter with PCIe bus interface up to 1920×[email protected] 32bpp.
  • Expansion Slots – 2x PCIe x16 (Gen3 x8 bus) slots
  • Other Internal I/O
    • 1 x CPU fan header
    • 4x system fan headers
    • 1x USB 2.0 header
    • 2x Front panel headers
    • 1x APM strap header
    • 1x HDD back plane board header
    • 1x PMBUS header
    • 1x BMC JTAG header, 1x JTAG PLD header
    • 1x BIOS_H header
    • 1x Chassis intrusion header
    • 1x SATA DOM jumper, 1x BIOS recovery jumper, 1x ACK selection jumper
    • 1x IPMB connector
  • Rear I/Os
    • 2x USB 2.0, 1x Mini USB
    • 1x VGA
    • 1x Serial
    • 2x SFP+, 3x RJ45
    • 1x ID button with LED, 1x Power button with LED, 1x Status LED
  • Power – 1x 24-pin ATX main power connector; 2x 4-pin ATX 12V power connectors
  • Dimensions –  244 × 244 mm (microATX form factor)
MP30-AR0 Motherboard (Click to Enlarge)
MP30-AR0 Motherboard (Click to Enlarge)

The motherboard supports Ubuntu 14.04, and can also be configured with Avocent MergePoint IPMI 2.0 web interface.

Pricing information is still to be announced according to the motherboard page, and the company also integrated it into R120-P30 single socket 1U rackmount server with a 350W PSU and support for 4 hard drives.

Via Tom Cubie

Support CNX Software - Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

15
Leave a Reply

avatar
15 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
[OvO]wlSanderkcghamadicnxsoft Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Member

Great! But do we dare ask about the price?

Sander
Guest
Sander

Place your bets:

Price of Mobo: …
Price of 8-CPU ARM: …

My guess:

Price of Mobo: 150 USD
Price of 8-CPU ARM: 150 USD

davidlt
Guest
davidlt

Just for the board I would put and optimistic price of < 1000 USD. No DRAM sticks and HDD. Probably also no case. This one at least has VGA out, thus you don't need to use external card as on APM Mustang to get desktop.

Sander
Guest
Sander

I checked: ASRock C2750D4I mobo (with on-board 8-core Intel Atom C2750) costs … 420 USD. That’s more than I expected.

So my guess 150+150=300 USD is probably too low.

nobe
Guest
nobe

this blog post makes me wonder many things :
– why is that TDP that high (45W), we’re talking about an ARM proc here…
– even that intel C2750 avoton has 20W TDP (despite missing 10Gb and having less SATA3 support)
– i’d have preferred RJ45 connectors rather than SFP+
– according to APM X Gene website, the SoC includes a BMC part. Then why did they add that Aspeed chip to the MB?
– does this SoC have a good linux support ?

davidlt
Guest
davidlt

@nobe,
Probably APM has the best upstream support for kernel. Many bits are still under review, but majority of things are upstream on kernel-arm mailing-list. Sometimes the problem is not SOC support, but in general not yet implemented bits for AArch64 (or bugs breaking ABI). GCC 5 and binutils have initial support for xgene1 target.

XGene-1 TDP is ~40W, I think, Cavium has even higher for ThunderX. These silicon chips are designed for server usage, they are Snapdragon, Exynos, etc.

XGene-1 does not 2D video support. Currently you would need bridges and open source supported graphic card to get to desktop.

4.1 will have some nice features:
– Cavium increased default MAX CPU number to 4K in preparation for high-core-number machines (currently they do 98 physical cores)
– COMPAT application support with 64K pages (requires software to be compiled with binutils 2.25)
– Looks like ACPI for AArch64 will be merged

4.0 brings us cacheinfo support for AArch64, but DTS needs cache topology nodes added.

Things are progressing, but it still it will take years for AArch64 to mature.

Also remember that C2750 is 22nm, while XGene-1 is 40nm, XGene-2 is 28nm, XGene-3 is TSMC 16FF+. I think, interesting things start happening with 16FF+ and 10FF (TSMC finally provides shrinking benefits, 2.2x density compared to 16nm).

Member

@Sander
I think your estimates are very optimistic. This board is (1) brand new, (2) for a small market, and (3) for the server market, which commands higher prices anyway. If ARM servers prove popular, prices might be acceptable in a year or two.

@nobe
Being based on ARM doesn’t magically make something low-power. We are talking about a chip with 8 high-performance 64-bit cores, a dual (or quad?) channel memory controller, and a good few high-performance “peripherals”.
And don’t forget that Intel has been very aggressive about process shrinks over the last several years. That allows their complex x86 chips to compete with ARM for low power consumption. These ARM server chips would not be made with such a small process, contributing to their TDP.

hamadi
Guest
hamadi

40w is alot for arm machine i even heard that xeon d soc can do less about 25w

kcg
Guest
kcg

hamadi :
40w is alot for arm machine i even heard that xeon d soc can do less about 25w

Sure, but xeon d does have 3 process generations advantage! APM is 40nm! Xeon D is 14nm! Think about it…

kcg
Guest
kcg

I think author is wrong with his expectation that “So far, it’s been pretty hard to buy ARM server motherboards for individuals, as most, if not all, products were reserved to corporate entities, but with Gigabyte MP30-AR0 server motherboard featuring the first generation Applied Micro X-Gene 64-bit ARM processor this might be about to change.” — IMHO if that would be true, then Gigabyte would not sell that in business 2 business web domain…

Sander
Guest
Sander

I’m now ereading the German C’T 10 (18.4.2015), and it has an article about the MP30-AR0 … including it’s price: 987 Euro!
In Germany the distributor is “Macle”.

Wow. Quite a price. Although I must say the 2x 10GbE SFP+ LAN ports (integrated) make it a board for the very professional market.

[OvO]wl
Guest
[OvO]wl

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!