Ampere Altra Announces 80-Core Arm Neoverse N1 Server Processor & Reference Designs

Ampere Altra

The first 64-bit Arm server processor was announced almost 9 years ago. Applied Micro X-Gene was found in several servers, and the company updated X-Gene family until it got bought by Ampere in 2018. The latter has now announced the first of their own design with Ampere Altra, an 80-core Arm Neoverse N1 server processor made for data centers. Ampere Altra specifications: Processor Subsystem 80x Arm v8.2+ 64-bit CPU cores up to 3.0 GHz with Sustained Turbo 64 KB L1 I-cache, 64 KB L1 D-cache per core, 1 MB L2 cache per core, 32 MB System Level Cache (SLC) 2x full-width (128b) SIMD Coherent mesh-based interconnect, distributed snoop filtering System memory 8x 72-bit DDR4-3200 channels ECC, Symbol-based ECC, and DDR4 RAS features Up to 16 DIMMs and 4 TB/socket System Resources Full interrupt virtualization (GICv3) Full I/O virtualization (SMMUv3) Enterprise server-class RAS Connectivity 128 lanes of PCIe Gen4 8 x8 […]

HeliX2-COMExpress Module Powered by Applied Micro HeliX 2 ARMv8 Processor Supports up to 32GB RAM, 10GbE Ethernet, SATA 3, and PCie

Theobroma Systems has introduced a new COM Express module, named HeliX2-COMExpress, powered by Applied Micro HeliX 2 ARMv8 server SoC and probing 10GBe, SATA, and PCIe connectivity, as well as SO-DIMM slots for up to  32GB RAM for embedded industrial applications.   HeliX2-COMExpress specifications: Processor – Applied Micro APM887104-H2 “HeliX 2” with 2 to 4 ARMv8 cores up to 2.0GHz,  32KB L1 I-cache and 32KB L1 D-Cache (per core) with parity-protection, shared 256KB L2 cache (per pair of cores) with ECC protection, and 2MB L3 cache with ECC protection System Memory – 2x 204-pin SO-DIMM slot for up to 32GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz Storage – Serial ATA SATA Gen 3 (integrated), up to 16MBit SPI NOR flash on-module, up to 128GB eMMC flash on-module Connectivity 1x 10 Gigabit-Ethernet (XAUI) 1x 1000Base-T with on-module 10/100/1000 PHY 1x RGMII Gigabit Ethernet 2x SGMII Gigabit Ethernet USB – 3x USB 2.0 (one dual-role […]

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

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). 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 […]

64-bit ARM Server Motherboards by SoftIron

We’ve already seen development board such as X-Gene XC-1, and 64-bit ARM servers have been demonstrated by Dell and HP, but SoftIron, a British startup, claims to be the first to provide a production ready ARMv8 solutions for the enterprise server market (e.g. data centers), with its SoftIron 64-0400 and 64-0800 server motherboards powered by Applied Micro X-Gene quad and octa SoC. Although the company did not release complete pictures of the board, they seem to have done a better job with specifications: SoC SoftIron 64-0400 – Applied Micro X-Gene APM883204 with 4x 64-bit ARMv8 cores @ 2.4 GHz, 4x 32-bit ARMv5 cores for Network/Security offloads and Acceleration, and 1x Cortex M3 for server management SoftIron 64-0800 – Applied Micro X-Gene APM883208 with 8x 64-bit ARMv8 cores @ 2.4 GHz, 4x 32-bit ARMv5 cores for Network/Security offloads and Acceleration, and 1x Cortex M3 for server management System Memory – Up […]

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

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. 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 […]

ARM Unveils Server Base System Architecture Specification (SBSA) to Standardize ARM based Servers

64-bit ARM based servers should hit the market later this year or earlier in 2015 with SoCs such as Applied Micro X-Gene or AMD Opteron A1100. ARM still has the lead in terms of efficiency with a lower dollar per watt ratio, but Intel is closing in with their new Avoton server-on-chips. However, there’s one aspect where Intel is clearly in the lead: standardization and compatibility. ARM is very flexible, and allow SoC designers to create more or less what they want, but it comes at the cost that most ARM based systems are not capable of running mainline Linux, and instead use vendor trees.  With many applications, that may not be critical, but when it comes to data-centers, companies want to be able to run the latest Linux version with the latest security patches as soon as possible, and want to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO), so […]

ARM Based Servers and Servers-on-a-Chip (SoCs) at ARM Techcon 2013

ARM Techcon 2013 took place on October 29 – 31, 2013, in Santa Clara, and several companies announced servers, or chips for server based on ARM technology. None of those are for home used, but for now ARM based servers target enterprise and cloud data. Yet end users may them indirectly when they access social networks such as Facebook, or other online services such as Paypal. Calxeda ECX-2000 SoC After their ECX-1000 quad core Cortex A9 Server-on-chip, Calxeda has announced ECX-2000 SoC featuring four Cortex A15 cores. The new SoC provides about twice the performance, 3 times the memory bandwidth, and 4 times the memory capacity (up to 16GB RAM) of the earlier chip.   One of the key advantage of Cortex A15 over Cortex A9 is hardware virtualization that allows support for KVM and Xen hypervisors. ECX-2000 is supported in Canonical Ubuntu Linux 13.10 and can run Havana Openstack. Other […]

KVM on 64-Bit ARM with AppliedMicro X-Gene Developement Platform

Applied Micro announced X-Gene 64-Bit ARMv8 Server-on-Chip at ARM Techcon 2011, and later in 2012, they showcased Apache2 on an FPGA implementation of the chip. More recently, they showcased KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) on their X-C1 hardware platform with an actual X-Gene SoC at Linaro Connect Europe 2013, and Linaro has just uploaded the video of the demo. The development board features 8 ARMv8 64-­bit processors, PCI network, up to 6 SATA drives (but only one used in the demo), and they also have hardware fitted into a 1U rack. The demo below runs 4 SMP Linux virtual machines (with 2 VCPUs), including 2 ARMv7 32­-bit, and 2 ARMv8 64-­bit guests, running web servers concurrently on each VM using VirtIO-based network virtualization. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and […]