Applied’s X-Gene (below) will initially pack 8 custom 64-bit ARM cores on a single 40nm chip running at 2.5 GHz, each with its own L1 cache and shared L2 and L3 pools as well as I/O, networking and an interconnect fabric. A follow up 28nm part will pack 16 cores and run at 3 GHz.
The chip’s interconnect initially can link up to 128 cores in a system and eventually 512 cores. The company showed a mockup of a server card but does not have first silicon back from TSMC.
“They have been very quiet since they announced X-Gene almost a year ago, so the fact they stood up and described the same SoC and it still will be available by the end of the year means they are executing on their plan,” said Nathan Brookwood, principal of market watcher Insight64 (Saratoga, Calif.).
The ARM chips are showing levels of integration not in their x86 competitors, including clustering interconnects AMD and Intel may not have for another two years, he added.
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