by Anton Shilov
10/28/2011 | 10:25 PM
Applied Micro Circuits Corp. on Friday introduces X-Gene, the world’s first 64-bit ARM architecture compliant processor for next-generation cloud computing, wireless infrastructure, enterprise networking, storage and security applications.
X-Gene multi-core processors based on high-performance ARMv8 compliant cores operating at up to 3.0GHz will offer compelling performance at a fraction of the power and cost of existing solutions, according to AppliedMicro.
“In offering the world’s first 64-bit ARM architecture processor, we harmonize the network with cloud computing and environmental responsibility. Our next-generation of multicore SoCs will bring in a new era of energy efficient performance that doesn’t break the bank on a limited power supply. In doing so, AppliedMicro becomes a more complete cloud computing technology provider for one of the hottest growth drivers in the industry,” said Paramesh Gopi, president and chief exec of AppliedMicro.
Today’s multi-billion dollar cloud computing server landscape is dominated by powered by x86 microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp., which generally consume rather lot of power. AppliedMicro’s solution promises to reduce server cost, power, and complexity by more than 50%. The new processors from AppliedMicro will implement the ARMv8 architecture, which includes the new ARM 64-bit instruction set, to deliver the world’s first “server-on-a-chip” integrating compute, networking and server elements into a single footprint.
“Collectively, data centers around the world consume nearly 1.5% of total electricity production and almost $44.5 billion a year is spent on cooling the servers in these data centers. Looking at the growth projections for data center usage and the future of power generation growth, this trajectory is unsustainable. A new paradigm for developing data centers based on energy efficiency will certainly help make data centers scale realistically with future demand growth,” said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst from Linley Group.
AppliedMicro’s initial ARM-based SoC design will be optimized for cloud server systems with a software-friendly architecture that greatly improves system utilization. AppliedMicro has implemented a sophisticated microarchitecture for the ARMv8 64-bit ISA and optimized it to deliver the highest performance while maintaining the power and cost profile associated with ARM technology, according to AppliedMicro. This server-on-a-chip will integrate multiple copies of AppliedMicro’s ARMv8 compliant 64-bit cores and a terabit high performance coherent fabric with on-chip 10-Gigabit LAN, storage and WAN physical layer IP, as well as a 100-Gigabit per second inter socket communications interface to extend coherency to multi-chip configurations. The SoC design integrates server-class dynamic power management to maximize power savings during the idle state while maximizing performance and responsiveness with the ability to configure thermal dissipated power (TDP) to meet varying system requirements. This technology allows the SoC to achieve an unprecedented level of standby power of less than 300mW.
The X-Gene’s unprecedented level of SoC integration in cloud server system designs reduces the chip count while also eliminating the power-hungry interfaces. In addition, the X-Gene platform is designed with Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS) features required in the server space.
AppliedMicro’s new processor family will leverage build upon the already large installed ARM software and hardware ecosystem and appeal to the open source software community much like its 32-bit predecessor. Server class open-source OS will be fully enabled by the time of production.
First samples of AppliedMicro’s X-Gene server-on-a-chip devices are expected in the second half of 2012 and will be produced at TSMC.
“We are excited to collaborate with AppliedMicro, who are early implementers of 64-bit ARM architecture based solutions. As cloud computing continues to redefine high end computing workloads, highly integrated solutions like AppliedMicro’s server-on-a-chip will offer an optimized balance of power, performance and price for an emerging generation of efficient server solutions,” said Lance Howarth, executive vice president marketing at ARM.