Today’s data centers have shifted from focusing on single-threaded performance to focusing on rack-level performance, where performance-per-watt, performance-cost ratio, and TCO (total cost of ownership) are the three key factors for deployment. As a result, data centers are starting to use servers tailored for specific workloads. The applications running on these servers are either based on open source software or are controlled by the customer who is responsible for the deployment. Marvell’s ThunderX2® server processor is a milestone product in the development of the server market. It has been deployed in the cloud computing and HPC markets. Major customers include Microsoft Azure and the top 500 supercomputers in Sandia National Laboratories. Computer Astra installation system, etc.
Recently, Marvell’s third-generation Arm®-based server processor ThunderX3™ has made a technological breakthrough. It’s designed for the most demanding workloads in today’s cloud computing and HPC markets. Small chip size provides high performance, low power consumption, high memory bandwidth and low memory latency for cloud computing and HPC workloads.
The ThunderX3 processor is manufactured using TSMC’s 7P process technology, with up to 96 cores, 4 threads/core, and a total computing power of 384 threads per socket. The memory interface supports 8 channels of DDR4-3200, and each channel can be equipped with 2 DIMMs. The IO expansion provides 64 PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes with 16 controllers. The processor supports single-node and dual-node configurations. For floating-point operations, ThunderX3 features four 128-bit SIMD (Neon) units per core. The appliance is fully SBSA/SBBR compliant and provides enterprise-grade RAS and virtualization capabilities. Samples will be available to customers in mid-2020.
Figure: The performance improvement of Marvell Thunder X3 compared to Thunder X2
The microarchitecture improvements in ThunderX3 make the overall performance of the IPC 25% higher than ThunderX2. Combined with the increase in processor frequency and DDR frequency, the overall performance of a single thread has been improved by more than 60% compared with the previous generation. At the level of a single processor, compared to ThunderX2, ThunderX3 has more than 3 times the performance of integer operations, and more than 5 times the performance of floating-point operations.
ThunderX3’s target market is still specific workloads in the cloud computing and HPC high-performance computing markets, bringing higher performance-to-cost and performance-per-watt advantages to end customers through Marvell’s differentiated advantages. Additionally, Marvell supports native Arm workloads such as Android cloud gaming. The target market of ThunderX3 accounts for about 30% of the overall server processor market.
In cloud computing applications, ThunderX3’s target workloads (such as big data, databases, streaming media, web tier, elastic search, and cloud storage) are inherently highly parallel. ThunderX3 supports 4 hyper-threads per core, which can bring significant performance improvement for this application. HPC applications such as EDA and CAE also benefit from multithreading support. ThunderX3 is extremely energy efficient and can maintain high frequencies under intensive floating point workloads. This capability, combined with multiple single-instruction, multiple-data (SIMD) units and the industry’s largest memory bandwidth, can provide tremendous opportunities for targeted HPC workloads in areas such as quantum physics, quantum chemistry, computational fluid dynamics, genomics, and oil and gas workloads. performance advantage.
ThunderX3 servers are also ideal for running native Arm applications currently deployed on mobile phones and Arm endpoints as containers or virtual machines in the cloud or at the edge. This enables a variety of emerging applications to become a reality, including Android cloud gaming, cloud Android, and Arm software/app development. Marvell is already working with NVIDIA to support industry-leading GPUs in Marvell ARM server solutions for HPC and gaming applications.
Based on the performance of current products, large-scale production deployment in extremely harsh environments, and a growing and dynamic partner ecosystem, Marvell has established a leadership position in Arm’s server market. ThunderX3 is the development of Marvell’s server processors. Another important milestone in the journey, and Marvell looks forward to sharing more product details with you in the coming months.