@Rick. Cavium's Octeon designs are not out-of-order but in-order. Thunder is likely to be the same. All other server CPUs - Xeons, Opterons, even X-Gene are fully out-of-order machines.
Actually XGene from appliedmicro is completely missing from your post. They showed a mini-datacenter running at Computex this week. Any reason, you are not covering them? They seem to be shipping already. From the specs they seem to have everything that thunder is claiming and a few years ahead.
Now I'd like to hear some reality about where we are at and need to be at in server software for ARM if this borader initiative of which Cavium is just one part is going to get traction. Details, please!
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"There are four families of products under the Thunder brand. One is specifically targeted at servers. Others target storage and security appliances and networking."
This is what does not make sense. Volume servers in the datacenter run all those applications today. E.g the same server could run map/reduce (hadoop) and also run generic web-tier applications. It appears that cavium is proposing to fragment the datacenter and have the operators chose between their different offerings and convert volume severs into appliances that can only run specific appliances?? That is a tall order.
@Servernut: Going back to my notes I see Cavium left itself some quibble room, saying its core "supports optimized OOO."
Btw, Rick, what other points in your article are inaccurate "quibbles-room" from Cavium that you are merely repeating? Been reading your articles for sometime and you are usually good about sniffing out marketing FUD.