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Cavium Rolls Out ThunderX2 ARM Processor

ThunderX2Today Cavium announced ThunderX2, its second generation of Workload-Optimized ARM server SoCs. ThunderX2 targets high performance volume servers deployed by Public/Private Cloud and Telco data centers and high performance computing applications. It is optimized for key Data Center workloads such as compute, security, storage, data analytics, network function virtualization and distributed databases.

The Cavium ThunderX2 will expand the market opportunity for ARM-based server technologies by addressing demanding application and workload requirements for compute, storage networking and security,” said Simon Segars, CEO, ARM. “ThunderX2 demonstrates Cavium’s ability to deliver a combination of innovation and engineering execution and the new product family increases the momentum for server deployments powered by ARM processors in large scale data centers and end user environments.”

ThunderX2 will deliver two to three times the performance across a wide range of standard benchmarks and applications compared to ThunderX. It also significantly expands the market reach of the ThunderX family of processors by targeting applications that require high single thread performance such as web search, graph analytics, a variety of enterprise applications such as massively parallel processing (MPP) databases, data warehousing and enterprise HPC applications such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and reservoir modeling.

ThunderX2 will deliver comparable performance at a better total cost of ownership compared to the next generation of traditional server processors. ThunderX2 is the second generation Workload Optimized processor from Cavium. It is based on the latest ARMv8-A architecture and built on a 14nm FinFET process node. It is fully compliant with ARM’s Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) standard.

Key ThunderX2 features will include:

  • 2nd generation of full custom Cavium ARM core o Multi-Issue, Fully OOO. o 2.4 to 2.8 GHz in normal mode, Up to 3 GHz in Turbo mode. o > 2X single thread performance compared to ThunderX.
  • Up to 54 cores per socket delivering 2-3X socket level performance compared to ThunderX
  • Cache o 64K I-Cache and 40K D-Cache, highly associative. o 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 o 6 DDR4 memory controllers per socket. o Dual DIMM per memory controller, for a total of 12 DIMMs per socket. o Up to 3200MHz in 1 DPC and 2966MHz in 2 DPC configuration. o Up to 3 TB of memory in dual socket configuration.
  • Full system virtualization for low latency from virtual machine to IO enabled through Cavium virtSOC technology
  • Next Generation IO o Integrated 10/25/40/50/100GbE network connectivity: Multiple integrated SATAv3 interfaces, Integrated PCIe Gen3 interfaces, x1, x4, x8 and x16 support.
  • Integrated Hardware Accelerators: OCTEON style packet parsing, shaping, lookup, QoS and forwarding, Virtual Switch (vSwitch) offload, Virtualization, storage and NITROX V security.

The ThunderX2 family of processors includes FOUR workload optimized processors targeting different workloads:

  • ThunderX2_CP: Optimized for cloud compute workloads such as private and public clouds, web serving, web caching, web search, commercial HPC workloads such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and reservoir modeling. This family supports multiple 10/25/40/50/100 GbE network Interfaces and PCIe Gen3 interfaces. It also includes accelerators for virtualization and vSwitch offload.
  • ThunderX2_ST: Optimized for big data, cloud storage, massively parallel processing (MPP) databases and Data warehousing workloads. This family supports multiple 10/25/40/50/100 GbE network interfaces, PCIe Gen3 interfaces and SATAv3 interfaces. It also includes hardware accelerators for data protection/ integrity/security, user to user efficient data movement.
  • ThunderX2_SC: Optimized for secure web front-end, security appliances and cloud RAN type workloads. This family supports multiple 10/25/40/50/100 GbE interfaces and PCIe Gen3 interfaces. Integrated hardware accelerators include Cavium’s industry leading, 5th generation NITROX security technology with acceleration for IPSec, RSA and SSL.
  • ThunderX2_NT: Optimized for media servers, scale-out embedded applications and NFV type workloads. This family supports multiple 10/25/40/50/100 GbE interfaces. It also includes OCTEON style hardware accelerators for packet parsing, shaping, lookup, QoS and forwarding.

ThunderX2 combines our next generation core that will deliver significantly higher single thread performance with next generation IO and hardware accelerators to provide a compelling value proposition for the server market and greatly expand the serviceable server TAM,” said Syed Ali, President and CEO of Cavium. “ThunderX2 will enable flexible, scalable and fully optimizable servers for next generation software defined data centers.”

Cavium’s ThunderX2 SoC family is supported by a comprehensive software ecosystem ranging from platform level systems management and firmware to commercial Operating Systems, Development Environments and Applications. Cavium has actively engaged in server industry standards groups such as UEFI and delivered numerous reference platforms to a broad array of community and corporate partners.

It is a honor to be able to rely on such a close business relationship with a partner like Cavium, we designed and delivered our own solutions based on Cavium ThunderX SoC for a while now, with extreme satisfaction in terms of performances, support and overall results. We can’t wait to get our hands the next gen SoC as we are confident it will provide an additional boost to an already strong and tested product line.” Cosimo Gianfreda, CTO E4 Computer Engineering.

Cavium will showcase ThunderX2 at booth #1105 at ISC 2016.

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