Companies Address Concerns related to Speculative Execution Exploits: Meltdown and Spectre

Yesterday, news surfaced about a “bug” in Intel processors that could be fixed at the operating system level at the cost of a decrease in performance for some tasks, from a typical, and barely noticeable 5% hit, to a more consequent 30% hit for some specific tasks, and as we discussed yesterday I/O intensive tasks are the most impacted by the changes. While Intel (and Arm) are impacted, AMD claims not to be, and the issue was reported by major news outlets and likely impacting the stock price of the companies with Intel stock losing 3.39%, and AMD stock gaining 5.19%, so obviously every company felt the need to answer, starting with Intel’s response to security research findings: Recent reports that these exploits are caused by a “bug” or a “flaw” and are unique to Intel products are incorrect. Based on the analysis to date, many types of computing devices — with many different vendors’ processors and operating systems — …

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 Now Fully Supports Arm servers

When hardware vendors announced Arm based servers they also claim support for operating systems such as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so I assumed software support was more or less where it needed to be with regards to Arm server. But apparently, it may not have been so, as Red Hat only announced full support for Arm servers in Red Hat Enterprise Linux for ARM a few days ago. It also started with SBSA (Server Base System Architecture) specifications in 2014, that aimed to provide a single operating platform that works across all 64-bit ARMv8 server SoCs that complies with the said specification. Red Hat then released a developer preview of the OS for silicon and OEM vendors in 2015, and earlier this week, the company released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 for Arm, the first commercial release for this architecture. RHEL 7.4 for Arm come with Linux 4.11 kernel and support networking drivers from various vendors …

GIGABYTE MA10-ST0 Server Motherboard is Powered by Intel Atom C3958 “Denverton” 16-Core SoC

Last year, we wrote about Intel Atom C3000 series processor for micro-servers with the post also including some details about MA10-ST0 motherboard. GIGABYTE has finally launched the mini-ITX board with an unannounced Atom C3958 16-core Denverton processor. GIGABYTE MA10-ST0 server board specifications: Processor –  Intel Atom C3958 16-core processor @ up to  2.0GHz with 16MB L2 cache (31W TDP) System Memory – 4x DDR4 slots for dual channels memory @ 1866/2133/2400 MHz with up to 128GB ECC R-DIMM, up to 64GB for ECC/non-ECC UDIMM Storage 32GB eMMC flash 4x Mini-SAS up to 16 x SATA 6Gb/s ports 2x Mini-SAS ports are shared with PCIe x8 slot Connectivity 2x 10Gb/s SFP+ LAN ports 2x 1Gb/s LAN ports (Intel I210-AT) 1x 10/100/1000 management LAN Video – VGA port up to 1920×[email protected] 32bpp; Aspeed AST2400 chipset with 2D Video Graphic Adapter with PCIe bus interface USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports Expansion Slots – 1x PCIe x8 (Gen3 x8 bus) slot; shared with …

Supermicro A2SDi-2C-HLN4F Server Mini-ITX Motherboard is Based on Intel Atom C3338 “Denverton” Processor

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote about Intel Atom C3000 Series “Denverton”  processor based on the same Goldmont architecture used in Apollo Lake processor, and used in an early GIGABYTE MA10-ST0 server motherboard prototype. The latter is not out yet, but according to a YouTube video, the 16-core motherboard should be launched in H2 2017. In the meantime, Supermicro also made their own Denverton motherboard based on a lower-end Atom C3338 dual core processor. Supermicro A2SDi-2C-HLN4F board specifications: Processor – Intel Atom C3338 dual core Denverton processor @ 1.50 / 2.20 GHz with 4 MB  cache; 9W TDP System Memory Up to 64GB Register DIMM RDIMM and DDR4-1866MHz Up to 32GB Unbuffered ECC/non-ECC UDIMM, DDR4-1866MHz, in 2 DIMM slots Storage – 4x SATA 3 ports, but up to 8x SATA 3 (6 Gbps) ports are configurable; N.B.: total combined PCI-E lanes and SATA ports is up to 8 Connectivity – 4x GbE Ethernet via Intel C3000 SoC USB – …

Avantek H270-T70 384-core ARM Server Powered by Cavium ThunderX SoCs Can Be Bought Online

ARM servers have been around for a while, but usually it’s pretty hard to buy for individuals, and developer’s boards such as LeMaker Cello are never in stock, probably because the project has been canceled or suffered from further delays. However, if you have some uses for ARM servers and the cash that goes with it, Avantek Computer (UK) is selling some ARM based servers starting from an 1U Rack with a quad core Annapurna Alpine AL5140 processor up to Avantek H270-T70 with a 2U rack equipped with multiple Cavium ThunderX SoCs providing 384 ARMv8 cores to play with. Avantek H270-T70 server key features and specifications: SoCs – 8x Cavium ThunderX CN8890 processors with 48 custom ARMv8 cores each System Memory – 64x DDR4 ECC slots for up to 8TB memory Storage – 16x 2.5” hot-swappable HDD/SSD bays Connectivity – 8x 40GbE QSFP+ fiber ports (Cortina CS4343 controllers) Power Supply – 1600W 80 PLUS Platinum redundant PSU 2U Rack System with …

96Boards Gets a TV Platform Edition Targeting $50 Mid-range Boards, $99 High-end Boards

96Boards was born as a hardware and software standard with Consumer (CE) & Enterprise Editions (EE), with different form factors with the latter focusing on server boards, but with similar software requirements requiring recent and mostly open source software. The consumer edition was also split into “Standard” and “Extended” editions, which the latter allowing for larger boards with more features, while the Enterprise Edition has its own larger format, as well as an option for micro-ATX form factor. I’ve just learned that a “fifth” 96Boards standard has been worked on with 96Board TV Platform for Home Gateways, OTT Streaming boxes, and TV boards with prices target of $50 or lower for mid-range boards, and $99 or lower for high-end boards. 96Boards TV Platform hardware requirements: Dimensions – 160 x 120 mm (EE Standard form factor) RAM – 1GB minimum; 2GB recommended Flash – 8GB eMMC minimum WiFi – 802.11 g/n minimum; 802.11ac recommended Bluetooth LE – Optional; at least Bluetooth …

Cavium introduces 54 cores 64-bit ARMv8 ThunderX2 SoC for Servers with 100GbE, SATA 3, PCIe Gen3 Interfaces

Cavium announced their first 64-bit ARM Server SoCs with the 48-core ThunderX at Computex 2014. Two years later, the company has now introduced the second generation, aptly named ThunderX2, with 54 64-bit ARM cores @ up to 3.0 GHz and promising two to three times more performance than the previous generation. Key features of the new server processor include: 2nd generation of full custom Cavium ARM core; Multi-Issue, Fully OOO; 2.4 to 2.8 GHz in normal mode, Up to 3 GHz in Turbo mode. Up to 54 cores per socket delivering > 2-3X socket level performance compared to ThunderX Cache – 64K I-Cache and 40K D-Cache, highly associative; 32MB shared Last Level Cache (LLC). Single and dual socket configuration support using 2nd generation of Cavium Coherent Interconnect with > 2.5X coherent bandwidth compared to ThunderX System Memory 6x DDR4 memory controllers per socket supporting up to 3 TB RAM in dual socket configuration Dual DIMM per memory controller, for a …

Tibbo Project System is a Modular Linux IoT Prototyping Platform based on TI Sitara Cortex A8 Processor

If you’ve found yourself needing to quickly demo a system that does not look like a mess of wire to a customer, or your project is requires low production volumes, making the cost of designing your own and mass-producing the hardware prohibitive, Tibbo Project System might be worth looking into. It features an almost bare board powered by Texas Instruments Sitara processor, and a large area for Tibbit blocks to add features as needed, as well as an enclosure. Size 3 Linux Project PCB (LTPP3) specifications: SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x Cortex A8 processor up to 1.0 GHz System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 Storage – 512 MB NAND flash, 2KB EEPROM, optional micro SD slot Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45), optional WiFi (via LW1000 module) and GPRS connectivity (via Tibbit #47) Expansion – 51 I/Os: 7x tiles 14x sockets for Tibbit module including 4x with UART capability up to 921,600 bps, 2x for CAN socket, 8x for “interrupt” …