SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Applied Micro’s much hyped X-Gene ARM server SoC is still not back from the fab. That’s didn’t stop the company from showing four prototype board-level products and an FPGA version of the 64-bit chip running a demo of a full Web software stack at the ARM Tech Con here.
Applied has taped out test chips of some individual blocks of the chip including the custom 64-bit ARM cores, said Paramesh Gopal, chief executive of Applied in a conversation with EE Times. He promised the company will have SoCs in customer labs before the end of January.
The company showed four reference designs, one of them fitting into a Dell chassis. However, no OEMs have committed to use the product given the company has yet to show working silicon.
In the video below, Vinay Ravuri, general manager of server products at Applied Micro, demoed an FPGA version of its X-Gene 64-bit ARM server SoC. The demo ran what he claimed were a full range of Web applications including Memcache and Hadoop.
The demo was meant to show Applied’s understanding ARM servers need to support a full data center software load including a LAMP stack, Java, virtualization and a standard boot environment. Earlier today, the Linaro collaboration announced a new effort to help develop open source code for some of the low level aspects of that code. In addition, Oracle announced it will work with ARM and others to deliver a version of Java for 64-bit ARM servers, but it did not set a timeframe.
Click on image to enlarge.
A look at the Applied SoC on the storage board and specs of the board below.
Tom Walker, vice president of systems architecture for Morgan Stanley, said there are other elements of the infrastructure for ARM servers IT professional like himself will need to develop. They include support for booting and managing racks of servers that could expand from a few dozen Intel processors to several hundred ARM SoCs.
Separately, Applied company showed four reference designs at the event.
It is an existing Dell chassis, and two low level Dell sales reps were at the event.
Applied and Dell worked together on the board reference design which fits into the Dell chassis and looks like it might conform to the Facebook Open Compute Project specs--though Applied would not say if it does.
However, this is not a win at Dell. Applied has no working SoCs yet. No one will design in a chip that is only running in an FPGA simulation--Applied's current situation.
Well, they seem to be hitting all the right applications and if they do indeed have it working on the design then it is commendable. Better than anything other 64b ARM guys have shown so far.
They do need to demonstrate working silicon to back their claims of being the first to have a 64b implementation.
All of that 90mins wasting my time to show a crappy FPGA board. Its been a year since they made a big news all over the place. Where is my silicon? Looks like Applied Micro is run by a bunch of marketing guys. All flash, No substance. Just vaporware. Window dressing a losing company for a nice sale and some $$$. AMCC and AMD are rushing to be bought. Lets see who gets hitched first