High-Performance Power-Efficient ARM Server from Codethink

20th August 2012
ES Admin
Codethink has today introduced its first generation high-performance power-efficient ARM server, the Baserock Slab. Each Baserock Slab server features eight energy-efficient quad-core ARM processors with high speed network fabric and local storage, with support for both mSATA and SATA drives, all in a half-depth 1U chassis.
Baserock Slabs can be racked back-to-back to provide a processor density of 64 cores per U, up to 2432 cores in a full height rack with power distribution and switchgear. While the Baserock Slab was designed for building ARM-based embedded systems, they also serve as energy efficient and highly concentrated cloud or appliance servers.

Codethink’s engineers have many years experience designing and developing embedded ARM systems. “Like many ARM-based system developers, we understand the benefits of developing natively on ARM systems for ARM,” says Paul Sherwood, CEO of Codethink. “The Baserock Slab, developed with Cogent Computer Systems, is designed to maximise parallel horsepower - with high density, fast processors, fast switching and fast local storage.

The Baserock Slab server delivers great performance because of the Marvell ARMADA XP, the world’s first quad-core ARM processor designed for enterprise-class cloud computing applications, that drives higher CPU utilisation and offers demand-based scaling. The eight System on Modules, designed and manufactured by Cogent, are linked together via a Marvell SDN-ready high speed Ethernet switch.

“Codethink and Cogent have collaborated to deliver a great multi-processor server integrated by a high performance and intelligent network fabric for SMP ARMv7-A clustered cloud servers,” said Ted Weatherford, Sr. Director & Product Line Manager, Cloud Services and Infrastructure Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor.

“Codethink brought great insight gained from years of experience with embedded ARM systems,” said Michael Kelly, Cogent Computer Systems VP Engineering/Marketing. “We co-designed a very flexible machine with our field-replaceable SoMs.” The carrier boards take advantage of the extensive engineering already in the Cogent-manufactured SoMs.

Paul Sherwood added “The Baserock Slab can be field upgraded to newer, faster processors as they come along, thanks to Cogent’s MXM-based SoM connector standard.”

Baserock Slab ARM-based servers will ship in the coming weeks.

Key features:
•8 Quad-core ARMv7-A compatible CPU with 2MByte L2 cache for efficient, distributed computing
•On-board high speed network switch with up to 5Gbit/s to each CPU, and 2x10Gbit/s of shared external Ethernet for data centre clustering
•Each computation node has its own mini solid-state hard drive port for dedicated, low-latency access to resources required by the node rather than network-attached
•On-board management module provisions and manages compute modules and configures on-board network

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