Marvell, a leading developer of various chips based on ARM architecture, on Monday unveiled its new system-on-chip (SoC) product – called Armada XP (extreme performance) – that features four ARM cores and is aimed at “enterprise-class cloud computing applications”. The Armada XP is the first actual ARM-based solution that is designed for servers.
The Armada XP is based on four Marvell-designed ARM v7 MP cores operating at 1.60GHz. The SoC integrates 2MB of L2 cache (hardware cache coherency is supported, which may mean that symmetric multi-processing capability can also be available) and sports single-channel DDR3 memory controller with support for ECC at 800MHz clock rate. In addition, the Armada XP features quad x4 PCI Express interfaces, multiple USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet ports, Serial ATA ports, security engine and other I/O peripherals to make system designs simple and economical. Just like other ARM-based SoCs from Marvell, it features advanced power management technologies. According to the developer, the Armada XP can achieve 16 600DMIPS performance at less than 10W.
“Marvell's introduction of a powerful solution for enterprise-class cloud computing applications is a very important milestone in the mobile Internet revolution – cloud computing mobile servers like those powered by the Armada XP are the key link in what I envision to be a seamless, unified ecosystem of mobile connected devices, information appliances and smart 'furnishings’,” said Weili Dai, co-founder of Marvell.
Armada XP is the fastest ARM processor available on the market today for enterprise class applications. Nonetheless, the prospects of ARM-based servers are not exactly clear, given the fact that the chips do not support 64-bit capability and, at least now, cannot be installed in pairs. But the most important problem is that there is no software for servers that is compatible with ARM architecture.
Marvell offers complete development platforms for the Armada XP enabling customers to start system development without waiting for hardware. Development platforms are available including software drivers and board support package.
Marvell's Armada XP will be on display at the ARM technology conference on November 9-11, 2010. The Armada XP is currently sampling to customers.