Qualcomm's announces 24-core socketed CPU for server market

By Scorpus · 7 replies
Oct 13, 2015
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  1. It looks like Qualcomm, known for its popular SoCs used in a wide variety of smartphones and tablets, is entering the server business. The company has announced a socketed processor destined for enterprise applications at an event in San Francisco, bringing their expertise in SoC design to new markets.

    At the event, Qualcomm showed off a prototype chip featuring 24 ARM cores, all of which are 64-bit capable, in a socketed package that looks remarkably similar to Intel's CPUs. The processor from Qualcomm also packs PCIe connectivity, storage, and other features, while the final design will include more than 24 cores, according to senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher.

    Qualcomm's server chip has reportedly been in the works for at least two years, and naturally it supports Linux environments that make up the vast majority of server solutions on the market. The chip isn't quite ready for a final release, so Qualcomm will provide further updates on the chip next year.

    The majority of servers currently deployed worldwide use x86 chips, many of which come from Intel, but ARM designs are seen as competitors in this space due to their energy efficient construction. It's also possible to create large, multi-core ARM SoCs without using a ton of die space, which is ideal for parallel server workloads.

    Whether Qualcomm can gain any serious footing in the server market remains to be seen, but come next year, we might see the company as more than just a smartphone chipmaker.

    Image courtesy of PC World

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    That's one pretty big CPU.
  3. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    That looks more like a Xeon, I highly doubt that's a representation of the CPU mentioned here. If it is, then they're doing something wrong.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    These days, what is a server? I use my mobile to host a website, running a few server-side apps.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    It would have been nice to see that monster right side up as well, so we could get a fix on what the heat spreader & heat sink fan assembly might look like.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  6. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Most of the new breed of ARM server chips are. Cavium's ThunderX, which can be up to 48 cores is around 600mm² in die size. The cores themselves are small (maybe 15% of an x86 core) , but substantial area is still required for cache, I/O, PCI-E 3.0, USB, SATA, 40GbE /100GbE ethernet, the ethernet fabric, quad DDR4 channels, and in Cavium's case, CCPI ( CPU interconnect).

    Broadcom's Vulcan and Applied Micro's X-Gene3 (both 64 core) would both be in the same ballpark
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    @dividebyzero I see a square pattern of four copper holes around each CPU. Would those be the attach points for the heat sink fan?
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    They certainly are, although the dual socket boards in the 1U form factor are generally passive heatsink with through-and-through fan cooling, such as this Gigabyte

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