Difficulties and problems of the hottest 32-bit AR

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The dilemma and breakthrough of 32-bit ARM chip entering the data center market

with the approaching of AMD's first 64 bit arm server processor, arm will bring a new lightweight application experience to the data center. With the rapid development of mobile Internet technology and cloud computing, the load has become more and more complex. PC, notebook, tablet, intelligent and other terminal devices are producing a large number of different types of data every day. What follows is that almost all these data have to enter the data center, which brings unprecedented challenges to the responsiveness, space and energy consumption of the data center

in fact, these loads are not complex, such as web, search, big data analysis, etc., but if a large number of light loads are concurrent, the load that the data center needs to deal with is very amazing. Therefore, the data center in the era of big data is looking for a method that can effectively handle a large number of parallelized and lightweight loads with low power consumption, and the characteristics of multi-core, high parallelism and low power consumption of ARM processor just meet this new demand of the data center

since 2010, the news that arm will enter the data center has not stopped. As Google, Facebook and other large Internet manufacturers began to customize arm servers, appliedmicro and other manufacturers began to research and develop arm server chips, and server manufacturers such as Dell and HP began to test arm servers, the route for arm to enter the data center gradually became clear. In October, 2012, AMD will launch 64 bit arm server chip in 2014

the dilemma of 32-bit ARM chip

at present, there are still some obstacles in the application of arm in data centers. First of all, at present, arm is only based on 32-bit architecture, but now most server applications have turned to 64 bit, such as Hadoop. 32-bit arm has fallen behind the times. Arm lacks the support of software manufacturers. Although arm already supports Linux system, it supports limited application software. Arm also lacks excellent memory controller and cache consistency function, and its performance is also low. It is also difficult to deal with mainstream server applications

amd's introduction of 64 bit arm processor is a breakthrough in the architecture of arm's application in the data center. In 2014, amd launched Opteron a11 code named Seattle. Another solution is based on the structure 00 processor of universal experimental machine, becoming the first company in the world to provide 64 bit arm server processor. Seattle is based on 64 bit arm cortex-a57 architecture and adopts SOC single chip design. It has four or eight cores, with a frequency of more than 2GHz and a manufacturing process of 28nm. The specification has been comprehensively ahead of the current 32-bit ARM chip

amd's arm processor is not only upgraded from 32-bit architecture to 64 bit architecture, but also comprehensively upgraded. In terms of cache, every two cores in Seattle share 1MB L2 cache, with a maximum of 4MB. All cores share 8MB L3 cache. There is great innovation in memory, which integrates a memory controller that can support ddr3/ddr4. That is to say, amd arm will support DDR4 memory in the future, which is a significant progress. The maximum memory capacity supports 128GB, with an average of 16GB per core, making amd arm ready for virtualization applications

other features include the integration of server caliber encryption and compression coprocessor and PCI-E 3.0 bus controller in Seattle, which can support one X8 or two X4 interfaces; Integrated SATA 6G controller, supporting up to 8 interfaces; In addition, 10GB Ethernet interface is integrated

arm ecosystem construction

of course, just having chips is not enough. Compared with X86 servers, arm still lacks a common and extensive software ecosystem

in order to promote the establishment of arm software ecosystem, amd actively cooperates with partners to launch a comprehensive development platform designed for 64 bit arm server CPU, including micro ATX encapsulated evaluation board and comprehensive software suite, such as standard uefi1 experimental force 50kN/100kN startup environment, Fedora based linux environment, standard Linux GNU tool chain, platform device driver, Apache network server, MySQL engine and PHP scripting language, Java7 and java8 versions that can work in a 64 bit arm environment

perfect development tools can make it easier for users to develop applications based on AMD arm, which will greatly expand the application field of AMD arm server. In order to further improve arm's software ecosystem, amd joined linaro, a non-profit organization. The members of this organization include arm, AMD and several software companies. Each member company should share engineer resources with linaro. Since the second half of 2012, amd has contributed 200 engineers to the development of arm software and vigorously promoted the establishment of arm ecosystem

in addition, AMD is also the earliest founding member of the SBSA specification (server base system architecture), and the plastic market has been shrinking. First, SBSA is an infrastructure specification initiated by hardware companies such as arm, AMD, Dell, HP, and software companies and organizations such as canonical, Citrix, linaro, Microsoft, red hat, SUSE, in order to solve the problem of inconsistent software and hardware standards for ARM architecture servers, The advent of this specification makes the development process of arm server simpler, accelerates the deployment process of arm server from chip, software to terminal products, and makes it easier for operating system manufacturers and ISVs to launch arm server solutions

the launch of SBSA standard will help improve the arm ecosystem. We see that the manufacturers involved in the formulation include server software and hardware manufacturers, which is good news for the construction of arm ecosystem. The purpose of SBSA specification is to define basic requirements for ARM SoC and help third-party manufacturers design and manufacture server products based on ARM processors. SBSA also stipulates the ports and other basic interfaces between arm servers for workload balancing

Microsoft's participation in the formulation of arm server architecture has a different significance, which is conducive to the migration of existing server platform applications from the traditional x86 architecture to the arm platform. The standardization of arm also contributes to the deployment efficiency of arm servers, because the micro servers equipped with arm chips are usually deployed in thousands of high-density. Standardization helps to improve the manageability of arm servers

amd arm observation

in 2013, the shipment volume of ARM processors reached 8billion, and the x86 processor was 13million. Arm server processors have great market potential. For this reason, the arm server processor market has won the favor of many manufacturers. Appliedmicro and other manufacturers are also preparing for the listing of 64 bit ARM processors. Internet giant Google also announced that it will design arm server chips by itself, and Samsung is also preparing to enter the market

in 2012, amd acquired seamicro, a low-power server manufacturer, 5 After the cover plate is covered, the freedom interconnection architecture obtained from the experiment also adds a winning weight to AMD. Freedom interconnection architecture can connect computing, storage and networking in the cluster, so that each rack can have more than 1000 cores, several terabytes of memory, more than 10gb/s bandwidth per slot, and achieve Pb level storage capacity. This architecture can significantly improve the efficiency of arm servers, which is not available to other arm manufacturers

in terms of ecosystem, amd timely launched the evaluation board and perfect development tools for arm server processor, and actively participated in the formulation of arm server specifications, which helps amd promote the application of arm server more quickly, and plays a positive role in promoting the establishment of the entire arm server ecosystem. In addition, amd has a broad base of customers and partners, including cloud server providers, Internet companies, telecommunications, finance, government, etc., which is conducive to further cooperation with AMD in arm servers

in addition, amd has begun to transform to SOC manufacturers in recent years. In the future, AMD's traditional chip business will account for only 50%, and the remaining 50% will come from embedded, high-density servers and semi customized products. ARM processor is an important part of AMD's transformation strategy. Amd revealed that its arm server chip has a long-term roadmap. For users, amd has a long-term plan and high hopes for arm, which can win the confidence and recognition of users

various signs show that AMD has obvious advantages in arm data centralization, so we are full of expectations for the construction of arm ecosystem this year. However, this does not mean that the arm camp has no resistance. Intel has developed an atom based platform for servers, and released C2000 avoton series products using 22 nm technology last year. Intel said that the microarchitecture technology based on the new silvermont has reached or exceeded the arm system level chip in terms of power and performance. In addition, the company will launch the SOC system level chip of the next generation atom server later this year, using denverton with 14 nanometer process

to sum up, the road for arm to enter the data center market is tortuous, and the diversified data center market brings users diversified choices

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