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ThunderX® ARM Processors


The ThunderX product family provides the best in class 64-bit ARMv8 Data Center & Cloud Processors, offering unprecedented level of integration and industry leading SoC performance. With high performance custom cores, single and dual socket configurations, very high memory bandwidth, large memory capacity, integrated hardware accelerators, fully virtualized core and IO, scalable Ethernet fabric and feature rich I/O’s that enable best in class performance/$ and performance/watt.  The ThunderX family includes multiple Workload Optimized SKUs that enable servers & appliances that are optimized for compute, storage, network and secure compute workloads in the cloud. The ThunderX processor family is fully compliant with ARMv8 architecture specifications as well as ARM’s SBSA.

This product family is based on highly efficient full custom processor cores designed by Cavium in 28nm process technology under architectural license from ARM. It is fully compliant with ARMv8 architecture as well as ARM’s Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) standard while bringing to market dramatic enhancements that include:

  • The first ARM based SoC that scales up to 48 cores with up to 2.5 GHz core frequency
  • The first ARM based SoC to be fully cache coherent across dual sockets using Cavium Coherent Processor Interconnect (CCPI™)
  • The largest integrated I/O capacity with 100s of Gigabits of I/O bandwidth
  • Four DDR3/4 72 bit memory controllers capable of supporting 2400 MHz memories with 1TB of memory in a dual socket configuration
  • Hundreds of integrated hardware accelerators for security, storage, networking and virtualization applications.
  • Standard based low latency Ethernet fabric interconnecting thousands of ThunderX® nodes in 2D and 3D configurations and enabling fabric monitoring and SLA enforcements with awareness and policy enforcement for virtualized networks.
  • Virtualization everywhere with Cavium virtSOC ™ technology – Full system level low latency virtualization solution from core to I/O.
  • Best in class performance per watt and performance per dollar for the target applications

ThunderX Family Details:
With ThunderX Cavium will be delivering the most comprehensive family of integrated ARMv8 SoC products in the industry and for the first time data center and cloud operators will be able to truly optimize their deployments and workloads from the silicon all the way to the application.
  • ThunderX_CP™Up to 48 highly efficient cores along with integrated vSoC, multiple 10/40 GbE and high memory bandwidth. This family is optimized for private and public cloud web servers and content delivery, web caching and social media data analytics workloads.

  • ThunderX_ST™: Up to 48 highly efficient cores along with integrated vSoC, multiple SATAv3 controllers, 10/40 GbE & PCIe Gen3 ports, high memory bandwidth, dual socket coherency, and scalable fabric for east-west as well as north-south traffic connectivity. This family includes hardware accelerators for data protection/ integrity/security, user to user efficient data movement (RoCE) and compressed storage. This family is optimized for Hadoop, block & object storage, distributed file storage and hot/warm/cold storage type workloads.

  • ThunderX_SC™: Up to 48 highly efficient cores along with integrated vSoC, 10/40 GbE connectivity, multiple PCIe Gen3 ports, high memory bandwidth, dual socket coherency. The hardware accelerators include Cavium’s industry leading 4th generation NITROX technology with acceleration for IPSec, SSL, Anti-virus, Anti-malware, firewall and DPI. This family is optimized for Secure Web frontend, security appliances and Cloud RAN type workloads.

  • ThunderX_NT™: Up to 48 highly efficient cores along with integrated vSoC, 10/40/100 GbE connectivity, multiple PCIe Gen3 ports, high memory bandwidth, dual socket coherency, and scalable fabric with feature rich capabilities for bandwidth provisioning , QoS, traffic Shaping and tunnel termination. The hardware accelerators include high packet throughput processing, network virtualization and data monitoring. This family is optimized for media servers, scale-out embedded application and NFV type workloads.
ThunderX Customer Reference Platforms : Cavium is enabling ThunderX family with two reference platforms i.e. ThunderX 1K and ThunderX 2K, which are intended for eco-system partners to test and release with actual hardware , enable customers so as to evaluate ThunderX performance and features based on their specific application. These reference platforms would also accelerate the development cycle for those customers, who are building their own platforms and developing their software stack deploying ThunderX. These reference platform would overall accelerate the ARM server adoption in the Cloud and Data Center infrastructure.

ThunderX 1K reference platform is an ATX form factor single socket motherboard inside of a 1U chassis.

ThunderX 2K reference platform is a ½ SSI form factor sled inside of a 2U chassis. The 2U chassis can accommodate 4 of such sled and each of the sled being a dual socket design.

ARMv8 architecture specifications
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ThunderX ARM Based Processors

2015 HPC Wire
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  Arm Server Motherboard Click to view the ThunderX® Partners Page
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ThunderX® SKU Table:

Segment ThunderX® Family SKU Example Workload


ThunderX_CP™ Private/Public Cloud web servers & content delivery, web caching, social media data analytics
Storage ThunderX_ST™ Hadoop block & object storage, distributed file storage, hot/warm/cold storage appliances
Networking ThunderX_NT™ Media Servers, scale-out embedded applications, NFV appliances
Secure Compute ThunderX_SC™ Secure Web frontend, security appliances, C-RAN

ThunderX CN87XX Family
The CN87XX consist of 8-16 cores in single socket configuration with two DDR3/4 controllers, multiple 10GbE, SATAv3 and PCIe Gen3 interfaces. This family is cost and power optimized for entry level applications such as cold storage, distributed content delivery, dedicated hosting, distributed memory caching and embedded and control plane.

ThunderX® family consists of two products named CN88xx and CN87xx. Summary of key capabilities are the following:

Features CN88XX_X (Server) CN87XX_X (Low End Server)
24-48 8-16
Core Frequency Up to 2.5Ghz Up to 2.5GHz
Dual Socket Configuration Server Platforms Optimized for HPC and Cloud Workloads 64-bit ARMv8 processor
Full Virtualization (virtSoC™) Data Center Cloud Processors 384 Core 2U server
Multiple PCIe Gen3 Dual socket ARM board ARM-based server products
Multiple SATA 3  384 ARMv8-A cores ARM platform
Multiple 10G/40GE ARM Cloud Computing Solutions Cloud Computing Processors ARM
100G Connectivity Accelerate ARM Server Deployments Network Functions Virtualization ARM
Multiple DDR3/4 HPC clusters, Hadoop development platforms ARM ARM Server Platforms and Software for High Performance Computing
Hardware Accelerators ARM-based Server Platforms ARM High Performance Computing
Ethernet Fabric ARM Systems optimized for datacenter, cloud and cloud storage markets ThunderX™ ARM Workload-Optimized Processor Family
ARM high computing performance with large storage capacity

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