Cavium Announces ThunderX2™

Significantly expands market opportunity for 64-bit ARM®-based servers by addressing the most demanding application and workload requirements

TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 30, 2016 — (PRNewswire) — Cavium, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM), a leading provider of semiconductor products that enables intelligent processing for enterprise, cloud, data center, wired and wireless networking today announced ThunderX2™, its second generation of Workload Optimized™ ARM server SoCs.

Cavium, Inc. Logo.

 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. 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 modelling. 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
    • Multi-Issue, Fully OOO.
    • 2.4 to 2.8 GHz in normal mode, Up to 3 GHz in Turbo mode.
    • > 2X single thread performance compared to ThunderX.
  • Up to 54 cores per socket delivering > 2-3X socket level performance compared to ThunderX
  • Cache
    • 64K I-Cache and 40K D-Cache, highly associative.
    • 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
    • 6 DDR4 memory controllers per socket.
    • Dual DIMM per memory controller, for a total of 12 DIMMs per socket.
    • Up to 3200MHz in 1 DPC and 2966MHz in 2 DPC configuration.
    • 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
    • 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 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."

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.  Cavium has also demonstrated its leadership role in the Open Source software community driving upstream kernel enablement for ThunderX, actively contributing to Linaro's Enterprise and Networking Groups, investing in key Linux Foundation projects such as Xen and OPNFV and sponsoring the FreeBSD Foundation's ARMv8 server implementation.

Supporting Comments from Cavium ThunderX Partners

"Since 2014, AMI has been an active partner with Cavium, with the two companies collaborating to deliver the most complete firmware and platform management solution in the scale-out data center and cloud industry.  AMI's scalable Aptio® UEFI Firmware and MegaRAC® SP-X management solutions enable ThunderX partners to quickly deliver complete system solutions to the market. AMI is currently shipping production versions of Aptio UEFI firmware and MegaRAC management solutions customized for ThunderX to customers in US and Asia. We see Cavium as a key partner with AMI in expanding our server design capability to include the rapidly growing hyperscale market, as AMI has been greatly impressed with the tremendous feature set and truly differentiating technology that Cavium offers with ThunderX. We expect that the latest generation of ARMv8 server announced today – ThunderX2 – will continue to improve on that legacy of distinction, and we have great optimism for the expanded opportunities that this next-generation ARM server platform will bring to our collective product offering and innovations," commented Subramonian Shankar, President and CEO of American Megatrends, Inc.

"Canonical and Cavium have partnered since the beginning of the ThunderX program and we have successfully delivered the recent production release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on ThunderX," said Mark Shuttleworth, Founder, Canonical.  "With the launch of ThunderX2 Cavium is yet again demonstrating leadership in the ARMv8 server market and Canonical is excited to collaborate on further extending and optimizing Ubuntu and key Canonical features such as MAAS, Juju and Snappy to further accelerate end user deployment and integration.    We congratulate Cavium on this major milestone and look forward to continuing to expand our partnership."

"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.

"The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to be part of the collaborative effort, working closely with ARM and Cavium, as an integral player in bringing ARMv8 to FreeBSD, and is excited to explore the options provided by Cavium's new processor family.  Cavium continues to play a key leadership role in developing the ecosystem for ARM based servers and ThunderX2 will be another driving force for expansion in the Open Source Community. We are focused on supporting strategic technologies and working closely with the community and commercial vendors, to facilitate and monitor development work like this, to continue making FreeBSD a compelling platform for education, research, and product development."  Deb Goodkin , Executive Director, The FreeBSD Foundation.

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