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Posts Tagged ‘armv8’

Qualcomm Provides Details about 64-bit ARM Falkor CPU Cores used in Centriq 2400 Server-on-Chip

August 21st, 2017 8 comments

Qualcomm officially announced they started sampling Centriq 2400 SoC with 48 ARMv8 cores for datacenters & cloud workloads using a 10nm process, but at the time the company did not provide that many details about the solution or the customization made to the CPU cores.

Qualcomm has now announced that Falkor is the custom CPU design in Centriq 2400 SoC with the key features listed by the company including:

  • Fully custom core design – Designed specifically for the cloud datacenter server market, with a 64-bit only micro-architecture based on ARMv8 (Aarch64).
  • Scalable building block The Falkor core duplex includes two custom Falkor CPUs, a shared L2 cache and a shared bus interface to the Qualcomm System Bus (QSB) ring interconnect.
  • Designed for performance, optimized for power
    • 4-issue, 8-dispatch heterogeneous pipeline designed to optimize performance per unit of power, with variable length pipelines that are tuned per function to maximize throughput and minimize idle hardware.
    • power management techniques: independent p-state control for each of the CPUs and L2, with entry to and exit from low-power states controlled by hardware state machines, and hardware state retention for power-collapsed sleep states with ultra-fast recovery.
  • Performance under memory-intensive workloads Falkor is designed to fulfill the demand for larger instruction footprints using an innovative split instruction cache comprised of a single-cycle, low-power 24KB L0 I-cache complementing its 64KB L1 I-cache. The core also supports a 32KB L1 D-cache with a 3-cycle load-use latency. The L1 D-cache is augmented by a sophisticated multi-level hardware prefetch engine that dynamically adapts to system conditions.
  • Datacenter features
    • ARM Execution Levels (EL0-EL3) and TrustZone secure execution environment.
    • ARMv8 instruction extensions to accelerate cryptographic transform and secure hash operations such as AES, SHA1, and SHA2-256
    • RAS mechanisms needed to keep a datacenter running, such as fault isolation, reporting, and handling techniques.
  • System on a chip – The 48 Falkor CPUs are brought together in a fully-integrated SoC with high-bandwidth and low-latency ring interconnect, large L3 cache and multiple memory controllers. It also includes an on-die hardware-based immutable root of trust that authenticates firmware before the first line of firmware is ever executed

Centriq 2400 SoC is scheduled to start shipping later this year. You’ll find an in-depth overview of Falkor micro-architecture, and more slides on Anandtech.

NFV PicoPod is a Cluster of Six MACCHIATOBin Networking Boards for OPNFV, ODP, DPDK and OPF

June 29th, 2017 9 comments

If you are interested in networking applications, you may have already heard about Marvell ARMADA 8040 based SolidRun MACCHIATOBin board with multiple 10Gbps and Gbps network interfaces, three SATA ports, and more. PicoCluster has decided to make a cluster of 6 MACHIATOBin boards coupled with a Marvell Prestera DX 14 port, 10GbE switch for OpenDataPlane (ODP), Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), OpenFastPath(OPF) as well as OPNFV (Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization) .

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The main features of the full assembled kit –  named Cube – include:

  • 6x MACCHIATOBin quad core Cortex A72 boards (24 cores in total)
  • 1x Prestera DX 10GbE 14-port switch board
  • 6x fans
  • Power Supply
  • Acrylic case

The cluster kit comes with 64GB micro SD cards pre-loaded with the latest OPNFV Danube software release for ARM integrated by ENEA Software AB. The cluster is said to be compliant with the OPNFV Pharos specification.

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Three pre-order options are available with delivery scheduled for September 2017:

  • $1,699.00 – Starter kit with all required items  minus the MACCHIATOBin boards
  • $4,699.00 – Advanced kit with all required items including the Marvell boards, but it still needs to be assembled
  • $4,999.00 – Assembled Cube with everything as shown in the picture above

There’s also an option for 6 SSD mounts that add $100 to the kits. You may find more info on the product page, as well as on ARM Community’s blog.

Packet 96-core Cavium ThunderX Baremetal ARMv8 Servers are Available for $0.50 per Hour, $372 per Month

May 6th, 2017 4 comments

Last week, I wrote about Scaleway ARMV8 cloud servers powered by Cavium ThunderX processors. They are very cheap, as low as 0.0006 Euros per hour or 2.99 Euros per month, but you only get access to 2 to 8 cores, so obviously you don’t get a baremetal server for that price.  If you want the latter Packet.net has been offering just that since the end of last year with their Type 2A baremetal server with two Cavium ThunderX 48-core processors, 128 GB RAM, 384 GB SSD and 20 Gbps bandwidth.

Cavium ThunderX Dual Socket Motherboard – For illustration only, not necessarily the one used by Packet.net

The servers can currently run Centos 7, CoreOS, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS,  with support for container platforms such as CoreOS Tectonic, Rancher, Docker Cloud, ContainerShip, StackEngine, Docker Machine, etc… You can check the status for other operating systems and features and the roadmap page.

They also have x86 servers, and I’ve included the hourly and monthly prices and features for all their servers for comparison. [Update: Type 2A monthly price is actually $372 per month, see comments]

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Visit Packet’s Type 2A product page for details.

Categories: Cavium, Linux, Ubuntu Tags: armv8, centos, Linux, server, ubuntu

Cavium ThunderX based Scaleway ARMv8 Cloud Servers Go for 2.99 Euros per Month and Up

April 28th, 2017 22 comments

Scaleway launched 32-bit ARM server hosting services in 2015 for 10 Euros per month, before dropping the price to 2.99 Euros per month half-year later, and now the company has just launched a new offering with 64-bit ARM servers powered by Cavium ThunderX processor going for 2.99 to 11.99 Euros per month depending on configuration.

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The processors are equipped with DDR4 ECC memory, and all three services included unlimited transfer, so you don’t need to pay for any bandwidth fee. While the price is shown per month, you’ll be billed by the hour (0.006 Euro/h for ARM64-2GB), so if you are using those for development it may even cost less per month, as you can turn them off when not working.

All server are located in a Paris data center in France, and runs Ubuntu 16.04, but more operating systems and “InstantApps” will be added to the selection. More servers will soon be available in their Netherlands datacenters (AMS1).

You can add a new ARMv8 server in Scaleway dashboard to get started with the new servers. You’ll find a few more details on Scaleway Virtual Cloud Servers page.

Categories: Cavium, Linux, Ubuntu Tags: armv8, Linux, scaleway, server, ubuntu

SolidRun MACCHIATOBin Mini-ITX Networking Board is Now Available for $349 and Up

April 24th, 2017 31 comments

SolidRun MACCHIATOBin is a mini-ITX board powered by Marvell ARMADA 8040 quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz and designed for networking and storage applications thanks to 10 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, and 1 Gbps Ethernet interfaces, as well as three SATA port. The company is now taking order for the board (FCC waiver required) with price starting at $349 with 4GB RAM.

MACCHIATOBin board specifications:

  • SoC – ARMADA 8040 (88F8040) quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with accelerators (packet processor, security engine, DMA engines, XOR engines for RAID 5/6)
  • System Memory – 1x DDR4 DIMM with optional ECC and single/dual chip select support; up to 16GB RAM
  • Storage – 3x SATA 3.0 port, micro SD slot, SPI flash, eMMC flash
  • Connectivity – 2x 10Gbps Ethernet via copper or SFP, 2.5Gbps via SFP,  1x Gigabit Ethernet via copper
  • Expansion – 1x PCIe-x4 3.0 slot, Marvell TDM module header
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 headers (internal),  1x USB-C port for Marvell Modular Chip (MoChi) interfaces (MCI)
  • Debugging – 20-pin connector for CPU JTAG debugger, 1x micro USB port for serial console, 2x UART headers
  • Misc – Battery for RTC, reset header, reset button, boot and frequency selection, fan header
  • Power Supply – 12V DC via power jack or ATX power supply
  • Dimensions – Mini-ITX form factor (170 mm x 170 mm)

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The board ships with either 4GB or 16GB DDR4 memory, a micro USB cable for debugging, 3 heatsinks, an optional 12V DC/110 or 220V AC power adapter, and an optional 8GB micro SD card. The company also offers a standard mini-ITX case for the board. The board supports mainline Linux or Linux 4.4.x, mainline U-Boot or U-Boot 2015.11, UEFI (Linaro UEFI tree), Yocto 2.1, SUSE Linux, netmap, DPDK, OpenDataPlane (ODP) and OpenFastPath. You’ll find software and hardware documentation in the Wiki.

The Wiki actually shows the board for $299 without any memory, but if you go to the order page, you can only order a version with 4GB RAM for $349, or one with 16GB RAM for $498 with the optional micro SD card and power adapter bringing the price up to $518.

$40 NanoPi K2 Board Powered by Amlogic S905 Processor Competes with ODROID-C2, Raspberry Pi 3

April 13th, 2017 38 comments

Hardkernel ODROID-C2 board is getting some direct competition with FriendlyELEC’s NanoPi K2 development board powered with Amlogic S905 processor with 2GB RAM, a very similar form factor, and many of the same features, which together with Khadas Vim (Pro) brings the number of low cost Amlogic based development boards to three.

NanoPi K2 board specifications with differences compared to ODROID-C2 highlighted in bold or stricken-through:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with penta core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – eMMC module socket, micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211F), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6212 module) with chip antenna + IPX connector
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports (GL825G USB hub) + micro USB OTG port for power and adata
  • Expansion Header
    • 40-pin header with GPIO, I2C, UART, ADC, PWM, SPDIF, and CVBS
    • 7-pin I2S interface
  • Debugging – 4-pin Serial console port (3.3V)
  • Misc – Status & power LEDs, IR receiver, boot selector, power jumper, power key (populated)
  • Power Supply –  5V/2A DC input via 4.0×1.7mm power barrel, or micro USB port (selectable via jumper)
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56mm

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The main difference with ODROID-C2 is then the presence of a Wireless module. NanoPi K2 form factor also matches Raspberry Pi 3, so many – but not all – accessories designed for Raspberry Pi boards should work on the board. An Android 5.1 image is provided for the board, and later an Ubuntu image will be released too. More hardware and software details. including instructions to build from source (U-boot, Linux 3.14…) can be found in the Wiki. So Hardkernel has clearly an edge here, with Ubuntu 16.04 with GPU and VPU support, Android Marshmallow image, and several community supported images. Since the boards are so similar, I’d expect the software gap to narrow over time.

The board sells for $39.99 + shipping on FriendARM website, compared to $46 + shipping for ODROID-C2 board. FriendlyELEC will ship from China, but Hardkernel has a distribution network, so the final price with shipping and taxes will depend on your country of residence. The company has also designed a heatsink + fan kit for the board as pictured above, which adds $5.99 to the price. Since Hardkernel’s eMMC modules can be fairly expensive, I was interested in finding out the price for those offered by FriendlyELEC. The only problem is that there aren’t any yet…

Azul Systems’ Zulu Embedded is a Build of OpenJDK for ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and x86 Compliant with Java SE standard

April 6th, 2017 3 comments

Yesterday as I wrote about the Embedded Systems Conference 2017 schedule I came across a potentially interesting talk entitled “Building A Brain With Raspberry Pi and Zulu Embedded JVM” by Azul Systems that will explain how to build a brain emulator using a cluster of Raspberry Pi boards. I wanted to find more about it, but I have not been able to find any details about the project/demo at this stage. However, I could still learn a bit more about Zulu Embedded, which is said to be an open source Java Virtual Machine based on OpenJDK, compliant with Java SE standard, working on 32-bit & 64-bit ARM & x86, MIPS, and PowerPC, as well as  multiple operating systems.

Some of the key features of Zulu Embedded include:

  • Java Support – Java 6, 7, 8, and 9 when available
  • Java Configurations – Headless, headful, or compact Java Compact Profiles
  • Hardware – ARMv7 and 32-bit ARMv8, ARM64, Intel/AMD x86, 32-bit and 64-bit, MIPS, and PowerPC
  • Platforms & Operating Systems
    • Linux 32/64-bit – RHEL 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, SLES 11 sp1/2/3, 12, CentOS 5.2+, 6 & 7 or later, Ubuntu 10.04, 12.04, 14.04 & 16.04, Debian Wheezy & Jessie, Wind River Linux, and Oracle Linux
    • Windows 32/64-bit – Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10/IoT/Mobile, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012R2, Nano
    • Mac OS X
    • Hypervisors – VMware, Hyper-V, KVM
    • Cloud – Azure, AWS, Google, Snappy, Docker
  • Packages – ZIP, MSI and DEB are available. Custom packages on request.
  • Memory Footprint – 11 MB to 250+ MB

Some of the advantage of Zulu Embedded is that it is 100% open source released under GPLv2 with Classpath Exception (I could not find the source code however), and fully certified and compliant with OpenJDK community technology compatibility kit (TCK) from Oracle.

Zulu Embedded is free to download for ARM Linux 32-bit (hard and soft float), and x86 Windows & Linux 64-bit, as well as x86 Windows 10 IoT Core 32-bit for MinnowBoard MAX. You’ll need to contact the company for other configurations.

It’s been used in program such as openHab 2.0, which replaced Oracle JDK with Zulu Embedded JDK, since it can be freely redistributed (no licenses required), and performance and stability feels exactly the same according to comments on Github. One person explained how to install it on the Raspberry Pi board (note: early access program is not needed anymore, since the binary has been publicly released), and the installation procedure is just the same as with OpenJDK.

You can visit Zulu Embedded product page for more information.

Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 Board Replaces Allwinner H3 by Allwinner H5 for $1 More

March 28th, 2017 25 comments

It’s hard to keep up, but Shenzhen Xunlong has launched another Orange Pi board, as two weeks after introducing Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 development board, the company has now introduced “Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5” board, with the exact same specification, except Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 32-bit processor has been replaced by Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 64-bit processor.

Orange Pi Zero Plus 2 H5 board specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with 2+4 core Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI port
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Ampak AP6212) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI port
  • Expansion headers – Unpopulated 26-pin “Raspberry Pi B+” header + 13-pin header with headphone, 2x USB 2.0, TV out, microphone and IR receiver signals
  • Debugging – 3-pin serial console header
  • Misc – 2x LEDs for power and status
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 48 x 46 mm
  • Weight – 20 grams

Allwinner H5 is pin-to-pin compatible with Allwinner H3, so the PCB is exactly the same. The upgrade brings slightly better CPU performance, as well as – in theory – better GPU performance, but the latter might not be usable right now (in Linux) due to a lack of software support. Power consumption might be a little higher too (TBC).

The company claims support for Android, Ubuntu, Debian, and “Raspbian”, but I can’t double check since their website won’t load (yet again). Armbian will likely have Ubuntu Xenial nightly images with mainline Linux ready soon, like they did for NanoPi NEO 2 and Orange Pi PC 2, and while they are usable for some applications, you should not expect everything to work just yet.

The board costs just $1 more than the H3 version, as it sells for $19.90 + shipping on Aliexpress.