Marvell unveils quad-core ARM chip for enterprises

By on November 9, 2010, 12:44 PM
Marvell has announced a new system-on-chip (SoC) product, the first ARM-based solution designed for servers: the Armada XP (Extreme Performance). Aimed at enterprises, it features four Marvell-designed ARM v7 MP cores operating at 1.60GHz. The Armada XP will be on display at the ARM technology conference this week (November 9 to November 11, 2010) and is currently sampling to customers.

The Armada XP sports 2MB of L2 cache, supports 64-bit DDR3 memory interface with ECC at 800MHz clock rate, and "heterogeneous multiprocessing" (SMP/AMP/Mixed) with "hardware-based Cache Coherence." In addition, the SoC features quad x4 PCI Express interfaces, multiple USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet ports, SATA ports, and security features. Just like other ARM-based SoCs from Marvell, it features advanced power management technologies; the developer claims it can achieve 16,600DMIPS at less than 10W.

While it's no surprise that Marvel underlines the Armada XP is the fastest ARM processor available on the market today, ARM-based servers won't be gaining popularity very quickly given that they don't (yet?) support 64-bit capabilities and don't have compatible software for servers. To address the latter, Marvell is already offering a development platform, including software drivers and board support package, in order to get its customers to start system development for the Armada XP even before they get the hardware.

"Marvell's introduction of a powerful solution for enterprise-class cloud computing applications is a very important milestone in the mobile Internet revolutionócloud 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,'" Weili Dai, Marvell's co-founder, said in a statement. "Marvell's leadership in mobility, consumer, storage, enterprise networking and Wi-Fi products completes the circuit, delivering a powerful end-to-end total solution to anyone connected to the new global mesh, from consumers to small business and the enterprise."


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