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The Chunkiest ARM ever - Marvell announces 96 core quad thread CPU

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Posted · Original PosterOP


Aside from being made on the 7nm TSMC node as well as 64 lane PCIe 4 support like AMD processors, This Marvell of a CPU also have over 350 threads and more cores than what Intel and AMD or even many (not all) ARM manufacturers.


The Arm server ecosystem is well alive and thriving, finally getting into serious motion after several years of false-start attempts. Among the original pioneers in this space was Cavium, which went on to be acquired by Marvell in 2018. Among the company’s server CPU products is the ThunderX line; while the first generation ThunderX left quite a lot to be desired, the ThunderX2 was the first Arm server silicon that we deemed viable and competitive against Intel and AMD products. Since then, the ecosystem has accelerated quite a lot, and only last week we saw how impressive the new Amazon Graviton2 with the N1 chips ended up. Marvell didn’t stop at the ThunderX2, and had big ambitions for its newly acquired CPU division, and today is announcing the new ThunderX3. The ThunderX3 is a continuation and successor to then-Cavium’s custom microarchitecture found in the TX2, adopting a lot of the key characteristics, most notably the capability of 4-way SMT. Adopting a new microarchitecture with higher IPC capabilities, the new TX3 also ups the clock frequencies, and now hosts up to a whopping 96 CPU cores, allowing the chip to scale up to 384 threads in a single socket.


Marvell sees the ecosystem shifting in terms of workloads as more and more applications are shifting to the cloud, and applications are changing in their nature, with more customers employing their own custom software stacks and scaling out these applications. This means that workloads aren’t necessarily focused just on single-threaded performance, but rather on the total throughput available in the system, at which point power efficiency also comes into play. Like many other Arm vendors, Marvell sees a window of opportunity in the lack of execution of the x86 incumbents, very much calling out Intel’s stumbling in process leadership over the past few years, and in general x86 designs being higher power. Marvell describes that part of the problem is that the current systems by the x86 players were designed with a wide range of deployment targets ranging from consumer client devices to the actual server machines, never actually achieving the best results in either workloads. In contrast, the ThunderX line-up is reportedly designed specifically with server workloads in mind, being able to achieve higher power efficiency and thus also achieving higher total throughput in a system.




Marvell hasn’t yet disclosed much about the cache configuration or any other specifics of the system, for example what kind of interconnect the cores will be using or what kind of CPU topology they will be arranged in. The ThunderX3’s success seemingly will depend on how it’s able to scale performance across all of its 96 cores and the 384 threads – but at least as an initial impression, it seems that it might do quite well.

Source: https://www.anandtech.com/show/15621/marvell-announces-thunderx3-96-cores-384-thread-3rd-gen-arm-server-processor


Thoughts: While most of us will never have to chance to see this chip in our lifetime, this does look like an interesting counter offer compared to common server processors, I would imagine most software made for this chip would be custom made.

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I didn't know there where to companys called marvel and was very confused.

into trains? here's the model railroad thread!

The way to get the specs for my PC. go to the store. Buy some potatos. boil them and mash them. and stuff that in a focus g with a ssd.

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5 minutes ago, The King of the Undead said:

I didn't know there where to companys called marvel and was very confused.

There aren't, it's a typo. This one is called Marvell.

...is there a question here? ?

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Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.


-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]


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From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.


-OnePlus X - [7/10]


A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.


-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]


Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.


-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]


Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.


-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]


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4 minutes ago, Sauron said:

There aren't, it's a typo. This one is called Marvell.

still would have bean confused.

into trains? here's the model railroad thread!

The way to get the specs for my PC. go to the store. Buy some potatos. boil them and mash them. and stuff that in a focus g with a ssd.

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Well quite interesting gotta say.

Wish we'd see a larger ARM CPU cores for Android smartphones though. Akin to what Apple does with their SoC that'd be great.

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On 3/19/2020 at 10:19 PM, DavidKalinowski said:

But can it run Crysis....

If you can get it compiled for ARM I don’t see why not ;)

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On 3/19/2020 at 6:21 PM, hishnash said:

I recon in a years time we will be seeing a lot more ARM server solutions. 

Nah. We will just see one... with a billion cores serving the entire internet. ;)


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On 3/18/2020 at 11:29 AM, Doobeedoo said:

Well quite interesting gotta say.

Wish we'd see a larger ARM CPU cores for Android smartphones though. Akin to what Apple does with their SoC that'd be great.

I have a feeling we'll be seeing that very soon ;) 

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