Macom Connectivity Solutions has announced that it is sampling the X-Gene 3 Server-on-a-Chip to select customers. This ARM powered SoC was launched last November (by the recently acquired AppliedMicro) and this third generation design is manufactured on the 16-nanometer FinFET process. Macom claims the X-Gene 3 is "the most powerful ARM CPU available today".
Inside the X-Gene 3 are 32 ARMv8-A 64-bit cores operating at speeds up to 3.0GHz. The chip can address 8 DDR4-2667 memory channels with ECC and RAS supporting up to 16DIMMs for up to 1TB of memory. Furthermore the X-Gene 3 supports 42 PCIe Gen 3 lanes with eight controllers. Compared to the X-Gene 2 processor Macom touts a five-fold performance gain.
Kumar Sankaran, associate VP of software and platform engineering at Macom's newly acquired compute business from AppliedMicro, said "We are excited to announce that the X-Gene 3 performance and power measurements are exceeding our expectations."
Earlier in the week, also from the OCP U.S. Summit exhibition floor, we heard that Microsoft had started to use ARM-based servers to run its internal cloud platform. Macom's news also appears to threaten Intel's server hegemony. In its press release announcement of X-Gene 3 sampling, Macom claims that its powerful SoC "matches comparable x86 processors in CPU throughput, per-thread performance and power efficiency, while offering advantages in memory bandwidth and total cost of ownership."
X-Gene 3 tests by The Linley Group back up Macom's claims, with the new SoC said to be capable of handling a broad range of cloud workloads. Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at The Linley Group said "The processor excels on big data, particularly in-memory databases, because of its high memory bandwidth. With X-Gene 3, ARM is ready for the cloud."
Macom is now shipping X-Gene 3 to select customers.