Marvell Flexes Quad-Core ARM Muscle for Servers

Marvell this week announced a new quad-core ARM processor intended for servers as part of its ARMADA XP platform. It's the fastest ARM chip on the planet for enterprise class applications and could be just the thing ARM needs to steal some market share away from AMD in the server sector.

The ARMADA XP processor comes clocked at 1.6GHz per core and includes a bunch of I/O peripherals baked into the platform, such as memory, networking, and storage interfaces. It's been optimized to consume low power and billed as an ideal candidate for cloud computing projects, including high performance networking to high volume home server products (think NAS boxes).

It's a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) based on the Marvell-designed ARM v7 MP compatible CPU. Additional features include 16,600 DMIPS performance at less than 10 watts, up to 2MB of L2 cache, 4 PCI-E Generation 2.0 units, multiple USB ports, and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The ARMADA XP platform is currently sampling to customers.

Marvell Unveils1.6GHz Quad-Core ARMADA XP Platform for Enterprise-Class Cloud Computing Applications


Santa Clara (Nov 8, 2010) Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL), a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, today announced the Company will demonstrate its quad-core processing, enterprise-class cloud computing platform, Marvell® ARMADA™ XP (Extreme Performance).  The ARMADA XP is the fastest ARM processor available on the market today for enterprise class applications. The new platform integrates four Marvell designed ARM compliant 1.6GHz CPU cores along with a host of I/O peripherals to offer one of the highest levels of integration in the industry. By employing advanced design methodology and process technology, the ARMADA XP is optimized to consume strikingly low power at 1.6GHz, delivering the best performance per watt to empower emerging cloud computing applications ranging from high performance networking and web servers to high volume home server products like Network Attached Storage (NAS) and media servers.

Marvell's introduction of a powerful solution for enterprise-class cloud computing applications is a very important milestone in the mobile Internet revolution—cloud computing mobile servers like those powered by the ARMADA XP are the key link in what I envision to be a seamless, unified ecosystem of mobile connected devices, information appliances and smart 'furnishings,'" said Weili Dai, Co-Founder of Marvell.  "Marvell's leadership in mobility, consumer, storage, enterprise networking and Wi-Fi products completes the circuit, delivering a powerful end-to-end total solution to anyone connected to the new global mesh, from consumers to small business and the enterprise."

The ARMADA XP supplements the Marvell Plug Computer initiative by enabling a new class of mobile servers to serve the growing performance demands of connected consumer devices like smartphones and tablets. The new quad-core further builds on the success of the Marvell® Discovery™ Innovation and ARMADA 300 series by maintaining software compatibility to offer existing Marvell customers significant advantage in terms of reduced development cost and faster time to market.

About ARMADA XP series

The ARMADA XP is based on Marvell-designed ARM v7 MP compatible CPU offering 1.6GHz processing per core performance, delivering 16,600 DMIPS to make high performance computing affordable for mainstream applications. It integrates 2 MB of L2 cache and supports 64-bit DDR3 memory interface with ECC at 800MHz clock rate to enable a high throughput memory sub-system design. The ARMADA XP is a highly integrated System-on-a-Chip (SoC) that combines quad x4 PCI-express (PCI-e) interfaces, multiple USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet ports, SATA ports, security engine and other I/O peripherals to make system designs simple and economical.  With ARMADA XP's advanced power management architecture, it offers the industry's best performance per watt to alleviate the challenges of energy and cooling costs faced by enterprise and server class systems.

Key Features

  • Industry's first quad-core ARM processor for enterprise applications
    • Up to 1.6GHz processing performance for each ARM v7 compliant core
    • 16,600 DMIPS performance at less than 10 watts
    • "Heterogeneous  multiprocessing" (SMP/AMP/Mixed) with "hardware-based Cache Coherence"
    • Up to 2MB system level two cache
    • Supplements the ARMADA family of single, dual-core and tri-core processors for easy software porting
  • 64-bit DDR2/DDR3/DDR3L memory interface with ECC support at up to 800MHz clock rates
  • 4 PCI-e Gen 2.0 units
  • 4 enterprise class Gigabit networking ports
  • Up to 16 high speed Marvell SERDES lanes with multi functionality (PCI-e, SATA, SGMII, QSGMII)
  • Multiple USB ports
  • Ultra low power consumption with advanced power management capabilities

Comprehensive Development Tools

Marvell offers complete development platforms for the ARMADA XP enabling customers to start system development without waiting for hardware. Development platforms are available including software drivers and board support package.