Phoronix Designed a Solar Powered ARM Cluster with 48 Pandaboards

Michael Larabel of Phoronix did a “little” week-end project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), building an ARM cluster with 48 Pandaboards mostly with standard Pandaboards (OMAP 4430), although some Pandaboard ES (OMAP 4460) were also thrown in the mix. The 96-core cluster consumes just over 200 Watts under load and can be powered by a solar panel. The boards are stacked up vertically in an industrial trashcan, and are powered via USB instead of AC adapters. Michael’s PandaBoard ES testing indicates about a 3 Watt idle per board, 5 Watt under load, or 6 Watts under extreme load. The cluster idle power consumption is just under 170 Watts while idle, and goes slightly over 200 Watts under load. Each Pandaboard runs Ubuntu 12.04 ARM OMAP4 installed on SD cards. MIT did some testing and provided Phoronix with benchmark results such as tests following Green500 benchmarking procedure, but they are not ready to share those yet, at least until everything […]

ARM vs x86 Servers Benchmark – Calxeda EnergyCore ECX-1000 vs Intel Xeon E3-1240

Calxeda has released the results of ApacheBench benchmark comparing their ARM-based EnergyCore solution to an Intel Xeon server in order to showcase the performance and the much lower power consumption of their servers. Here’s the setup: Hardware: Single Calxeda EnergyCore ECX-1000 @ 1.1 GHz, 4 GB of DDR3L-1066 memory, 1Gb Ethernet network port and 250 GB SATA 7200rpm HDD Intel Xeon E3-1240 @ 3.3 GHz, 16 GB memory and 1Gb Ethernet network port. No info on hard drive provided Software: Ubuntu Server v12.04 Apache Server v2.4.2 ApacheBench v2.3 (16k request size) They performed power measurements every 2 seconds and averaged the results. Power supply overhead and hard drive power consumption were not excluded in the measurement, but the entire SoC and DDR memory power consumption were included together. For the Intel server however, they could not measure directly, so they used published TDP values for the CPU (80 W) and I/O chipset (6.7 W), along with an estimate for DDR memory […]

Mitac Unveils ARM Based GFX Server at Computex 2012

MiTAC International announced their first ARM server (MiTAC GFX) based on Marvell ARMADA XP SoC and running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS at Computex 2012, in Taipei. This solution appears to be similar to Dell “Copper” ARM server announced last week, which also uses Marvel ARMADA XP and runs Ubuntu 12.04, except its intended to be a real product rather than just a prototype. The MiTAC GFX with ASX-1 module is intended for deployment as a general purpose server where real estate, efficiency and throughput at a realistic price are key factors and typical applications include web hosting, web browsing, email, chat, social media and networking, etc. Later,  MiTAC will introduce an ASX-HP (High Performance) module for compute intensive workloads that can be add to GFX system, and ASX modules featuring 64-bit SoC are under development. MiTAC showcased a GFX System with 64 nodes (that’s 256 Cortex A9 cores) at Computex 2012, which is still on display at the Canonical booth until […]

Dell Announces Copper ARM Servers Based on Marvell ARMADA XP SoC

It looks like 2012 will be the year of ARM servers. After previous announcements of ARM servers based on Calxeda and Applied Micro SoC, Dell has just announced its own “Copper” ARM servers powered by Marvell ARMADA XP SoC (MV78460) that allegedly runs Ubuntu Server with a LAMP stack. Dell “Copper” ARM server is composed of 12 sleds with 4 SoC each slotted into a 3U C5000 Chassis. Here are the specs: Form factor 3U chassis 48 independent servers Architecture 1S 1.6GHz, quadcore Marvell Armada XP system on a chip (SoC) 4 discrete server nodes per sled 12 sleds per 3U chassis Memory 1 DIMM slot DDR3 UDIMM VLP, 1333MHz up to 8GB per node Drive bays 1 x 2.5″ SATA per node Hard disk drives 2.5″ SATA (7.2K rpm) Networking 1GB Marvell Ethernet uplink per node (QSGMII) connected to Marvell Integrated L2 Switch (98DX4122) Dell believes that ARM based infrastructures are ideal for Web front-end and Hadoop environments as […]

Intel Roadmap to 2015 and Beyond: 5nm Technology, Merrifield Mobile Processor, Microservers and More

Intel had their annual Investor meeting day on the 10th of May 2012 in Santa Clara where we would learn a few things about what’s ahead for Intel and the semiconductor industry. Paul Otellini, Intel President and Chief Executive Officer, started the meeting by  giving some numbers about Intel results and showing opportunities existing for cloud and data center, personal computing, mobile devices and intelligent systems (for automotive, retail and communications markets). One interesting point was the tremendous growth in data Intel expects from 2,500 Exabytes per year (7 EB/day) today to 8,000 Exabytes by 2015 which the majority of the growth lead by Big data. He also boasted about Intel technology advantage. For example, Intel introduced High-K Metal Gate technology in 2007 and competitor only got it in products last year (btw Samsung Exynos 5 uses HKMG). They recently introduced Tri-gate technology and they only expect competitors to catch up within 4 years. Finally one of the slide (see […]

This is What a Calxeda 192-Core ARM Ubuntu 12.04 Server Looks Like

Last November, Calxeda announced its 32-bit ARM Chip for servers, and now there are been some good progress as Calxeda is currently showcasing a 192-core ARM Server running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server edition at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Oakland, California. The server showcased has 192 cores (48 Calxeda EnergyCore quad core Cortex-A9 processors), consumes less than 300 Watts, supports  up to 24 SATA drivers and runs Ubuntu 12.04 with OpenStack’s cloud management infrastructure. Karl Freund, Calxeda Vice President of Marketing said that the Calxeda server is running “a standard LAMP stack (running Calxeda’s website) along with other popular web frameworks such as node.js and Ruby on Rails, provisioning of OpenStack Nova compute instances, and even Canonical’s Metal-as-a-Service bare-metal provisioning.” The company also explained that a complete native build of the Ubuntu 12.04 kernel took less than an hour to build on a single node, 4 times faster than the time it takes on current ARM build platforms, and it […]

AppliedMicro Unveils ARMv8 64-bit Apache 2 Implementation for X-Gene SoC

Last year, Applied Micro announced their Gene-X 64-bit ARMv8 core at ARM Techcon 2011, and showed a minimal demo based on Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA booting Linux ARM 64-bit  to the command line. Since then, the company has made progress and just announced the availability of an Apache 2 web server implementation on their 64-bit ARMv8 X-Gene Server-on-Chip. This is the very first implementation of a  fully-functional server platform running a real-world application on 64-bit ARM-based processor, said Vinay Ravuri, Vice President and General Manager of Processor Products at AppliedMicro. The platform is now capable of running a full LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) software stack. Back in 2011, the company announced ARMv8 support for Linux  would be developed by Redhat and be available in Fedora. This 64-bit ARM web server implementation enable OEMs, ODMs, Cloud Service Providers, Independent Software Vendors and other development partners to conduct early stage performance benchmarking and software development in parallel with silicon development. The X-Gene platform […]

The Past, Present and Future of Ubuntu for ARM

David Mandala of Canonical talked at Linux.Conf.Au on 18th of January 2012 about Ubuntu for ARM and the move from netbook to server support. You can read my notes below, or jump at the end of this post to watch the presentation. The Past 2008:  Ubuntu decides to only support ARMv7 architecture vs. Debian that supports ARMv4 and above. 2009:  Ubuntu release for Freescale i.MX51 (ARMv5 built), and then Marvell ARMAVA with ARMv6 and VFP (ARM floating point unit) support. 2010: April (10.04) The first ARMv7 release for OMAP3 (Beagleboard) with VFP, Thunb2, NEON and SMP for ARM and first netbook edition October (10.10) Pandabord (OMAP4) release with initial device tree support for ARM. Starts work with Linaro. 2011: 11.04 (5th release) – Supports OMAP3 and OMAP4 only. The netbook edition is using Qt, further improvement to device tree, further work with linaro and on the way to the Unified linux kernel for ARM (still a few years away). 11.11 […]