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Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Cavium Introduces 48-Core SoC For Data Centers


Cavium, Inc. introduced at Computex the 2.5GHz 48 core ThunderX, a new 64-bit ARMv8 SoC SOC family of processors optimized for a range of applications in the cloud and data center.

ThunderX consists of 24 to 48 cores and is the fifth generation of multi-core processor design from Cavium targeting high performance volume servers and appliances for large data centers and cloud infrastructure. This product family is based on custom processor cores designed by Cavium in 28nm process. It is fully compliant with ARMv8 architecture as well as ARM’s Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) standard.

The ARM based SoC scales up to 48 cores with up to 2.5 GHz core frequency with 78K of I-Cache and 32K of D-Cache along with 16MB of L2 cache. It is fully cache coherent across dual sockets using Cavium Coherent Processor Interconnect (CCPI). It features integrated I/O capacity with 100s of Gigabits of I/O bandwidth; four DDR3/4 72 bit memory controllers capable of supporting 2400 MHz memories with 1TB of memory in a dual socket configuration; hundreds of integrated hardware accelerators for security, storage, networking and virtualization applications; standard based Ethernet fabric interconnecting thousands of ThunderX nodes in 2D and 3D configurations and; virtualization with Cavium virtSOC technology.

The ThunderX family include the following SKUs:

  • ThunderX_CP: Up to 48 cores along with integrated virtSOC, dual socket coherency, multiple 10/40 GbE and high memory bandwidth.
  • ThunderX_ST: Up to 48 cores along with integrated virtSOC, multiple SATAv3 controllers, 10/40 GbE & PCIe Gen3 ports, high memory bandwidth, dual socket coherency, and scalable fabric for east-west as well as north-south traffic connectivity.
  • Thunder_SC: Up to 48 cores along with integrated virtSOC, 10/40 GbE connectivity, multiple PCIe Gen3 ports, high memory bandwidth, dual socket coherency, and scalable fabric for east-west as well as north-south traffic connectivity. The hardware accelerators include Cavium’s 4th generation NITROX and TurboDPI technology with acceleration for IPSec, SSL, Anti-virus, Anti-malware, firewall and DPI.
  • Thunder_NT: Up to 48 cores along with integrated virtSOC, 10/40/100 GbE connectivity, multiple PCIe Gen3 ports, high memory bandwidth, dual socket coherency, and scalable fabric with feature capabilities for bandwidth provisioning, QoS, traffic Shaping and tunnel termination. The hardware accelerators include high packet throughput processing, network virtualization and data monitoring.

The ThunderX family consists of two products named CN88xx and CN87xx.

The CN87xx consists of 8 to 16 cores in single socket configuration with two DDR3/4 controllers, multiple 10GbE, SATAv3 and PCIe Gen3 interfaces. This family is cost and power optimized for entry level applications such as cold storage, distributed content delivery or dedicated hosting.

ThunderX is enabled for rack level deployment and application optimization from day one with fully developed firmware, Linux Kernel and Operating Systems, development tools, cloud infrastructure and scale out applications. Cavium is also a member of the UEFI Forum, open source and industry groups such as OpenStack Foundation, the Linux Foundation, the Xen Advisory Board and Linaro. All ThunderX product families support Linux OS distributions, including Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE and MontaVista, virtualization support via KVM and Xen and full support for development environments including the GCC suite and Java.

The ThunderX family of processors along with a range of hardware reference platforms will be available for general sampling in early Q4'2014.



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