ARM: high compute, low power

Monday 22nd February 2016

Mentor Graphics Corp and ARM seal a multi-year pact to optimise Mentor’s tools and methodologies for ARM-based system on a chip (SOC) while Kontron and AppliedMicro unveil 64-bit ARMv8-based converged Infrastructure Platform for NFV and SDN in a collaboration to meet strong demand for NFVi platforms with higher compute density and lower power consumption.

ECT (Embedded Computing Technology) Kontron and Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, with computing and connectivity skills, unveil a collaborative hardware design for Kontron SYMKLOUD Series of converged infrastructure platforms.  CSPs (Communication service providers) can now get reductions in both capital and operating infrastructure expenses for services deployed on virtualised cloud networks. The ARM-based SYMKLOUD platform will be on display at both  Kontron and ARM booths  during Mobile World Congress.

The SYMKLOUD platform portfolio now includes a 10GbE modular server designed with two AppliedMicro X-Gene SoC (System-on-Chip) processors based on the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture –  known for iserver-class performance and mobile-level power efficiency. Each 2U SYMKLOUD enclosure has the capacity of nine modular, hot-swappable servers, which translates into a configuration of up to 144 X-Gene cores, or, 3,024 cores in a fully populated 42U rack – a 97 percent increase in space efficiency compared to traditional dual socket 1U commodity servers.

ARM hardware design for software-define
A SYMKLOUD converged infrastructure platform is designed explicitly to support operator services delivered on COTS (Commercial-Off-the-Shelf) high availability infrastructure using SDN (software defined networking) and NFV (network functions virtualisation) technologies. Its modular and short-depth footprint packs in high density compute, storage and a 20GbE switch fabric that supports bare metal SDN switching for legacy and OpenFlow traffic.

In addition to a low power envelope, the X-Gene processor doubles addressable memory to 64GB per CPU. Its higher memory bandwidth brings total memory per modular server to 128GB. This underpins the need to have strong single threaded processor performance to ensure high bandwidth and low latency for virtualised network functions (VNFs) in the carrier cloud.

The SYMKLOUD AppliedMicro/ARM solution is an open opportunity for VNF vendors to run NFV applications seamlessly without any customization of code. With full virtualization support and line rate performance, the SoC framework of X-Gene includes mission critical RAS features, as well as role-based authorization, authentication and service continuity. Potential use cases include: NFVi as a Service; VNF as a Service; vMobile Core Network and vIMS; vMobile base station; vCPE/home environment; and vCDNs.

“The ARM-based SYMKLOUD platform is another impressive milestone in showcasing the advantages of the ARM server and network infrastructure ecosystem,” said (right) Charlene Marini, VP, segment marketing, ARM. “The collaboration between AppliedMicro and Kontron will further expand the realm of what is possible for carriers and data centers seeking the scalability and workload-optimized benefits enabled by the ARM architecture.”

“The movement to ARM server architecture for the telco cloud has reached another major milestone,” said Kumar Sankaran, associate vice president, AppliedMicro. “As a new valued partner to the ARM community, Kontron brings a tremendous amount of experience from years of carrier grade COTS hardware designs dedicated to the telecom industry.”

“Carrier clients and ISV partners are taking a second look at ARM-based 64-bit silicon to drive their business forward,” said (left) Robert Courteau, executive vice president, communications BU, Kontron. “To continually improve how we make it easier for our CSP customers to evolve with rapid market changes demands new levels of service agility. Our work with AppliedMicro enables Kontron to offer effective technological choices - at the right time - for the best results.”

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