Calxeda Next-Gen ARM SoC Doubles Performance
Yesterday Calxeda announced its second generation Server-on-a-Chip (SoC). The ARM EnergyCore ECX-2000 is Calxeda's successor to the ECX-1000 chip. The next-gen ARM SoC has almost 2X the performance, 3X the memory bandwidth, and 4X the memory capacity of the earlier chip.
The integrated Calxeda Fleet Fabric switch and management engine would significantly reduce switching and cabling complexity and allows scalability to allow for the potential connection of thousands of ECX-2000 server nodes which would handle distributed applications and storage on a large scale.
Applications that are I/O intensive such as distributed storage, cloud-based games, media streaming, and specialized cloud customers who design their own databases, such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, would benefit from this new architecture.
Additionally, Calxeda has stated the EXC-2000 is the first to support KVM and Xen, two virtualization hypervisors which manage the systems processor, memory, and other resources and allow multiple operating systems to run securely on the same CPU and increase CPU utilization.
According to Calxeda, "The new Server-on-a-Chip (SoC) enables an integrated fabric of high-density servers and storage, and has been selected by HP for Moonshot solutions. The ECX-2000 uses standard ARM Cortex™-A15 cores up to 1.8 GHz, with the integrated Calxeda Fleet Fabric™, 10Gb Ethernet, and standard I/O controllers."
While volume shipments of the chips has not started, (but is anticipated to begin before the end of the year), Calxeda has been sending samples to its business partners and select data centers.
"While this is big news, there is a far more important story to be told. The new ECX-2000 is just the next step on the journey to a far more efficient data center. This journey will fundamentally reshape the data center infrastructure into a fleet of compute, storage, networking, and memory resources; the so-called Software-defined Data Center." noted Karl Freund, Calxeda's Marketing vice president.
Although HP is not the only solution partner to embrace ARM technology, its Moonshot project has been a showcase of its effort to reduce the size of data centers. Besides helping to reduce data center costs, allow for growth without having to increase floor space or outgrow power availability, using low power chips which have their roots in running mobile devices such as smartphones, netbooks, and tablets, this initiative could also help to reduce the carbon footprint of the ever increasing demand for larger data center operating requirements.
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According to Paul Santeler, vice president and general manager of HP's Hyperscale Business Unit, "When delivered in an HP Moonshot solution, we believe it will offer users a new level of performance, requiring less energy and less space than traditional solutions do today."
Calxeda has also announced "the addition of a second 64-bit SoC to the company roadmap announced last year. Code-named "Sarita", the new 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 SoC complements the "Lago" platform, but is pin-compatible with the ECX-1000 and new ECX-2000. This approach, a first in the industry, reduces development time and expense for Calxeda partners, accelerating the 64-bit ARM ecosystem, and enabling customers to future-proof designs for three generations of rapid technology innovation."
Calxeda is planning on demonstrating its new product with OpenStack and the open-source Ceph distributed object storage software at the annual ARM TechCon event which runs from October 29 - 31 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.