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Cavium unleashes Thunder chips for data centre, cloud

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Chip maker Cavium has released a new range of ARM-based 64-bit system on chip products which it said offers the best performance on low power for data centres and cloud apps.

The Thunder X range of processors will be available for sampling during the fourth quarter of this year. Cavium has released four products in the range, the Thunder X CP, which is optimised for use in private and public cloud web servers, the Thunder X ST, for use with big data and storage, and the Thunder SC, built for Secure Web Front End, security and Cloud RAN. The final product in the range is the Thunder NT, which is optimised for media servers, embedded applications and NFV work.

Each of the four 2.5GHz products include up to 48 cores, hardware accelerators, which give low latency, high memory bandwidth and end to end virtualisation.

Linley Gwennap, Principal Analyst at The Linley Group, said: "With 48 cores, ThunderX far exceeds the per-socket performance of any ARM server processor yet announced. This achievement draws on Cavium's long experience with large multi-core processors.

"ThunderX will enable Cavium to be the first ARM-based vendor to deliver the performance and features required by today's volume server market at half the power and significantly lower cost compared to competing solutions. This announcements show that the ARM camp is making progress in the server market."

Analysts predict the global data centre infrastructure market will hit more than €94bn this year, driven by the adoption of software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service. The expectation is these markets will be enabled by software defined networking, storage and data centres.

Syed Ali, President and CEO of Cavium, said: "The unprecedented demand for power and cost efficient workload optimised computing driven from the data centre and cloud is a disruptive opportunity for the industry. Our strategic investment in technologies and solutions  that matter to the data centre during the past 10 years come together perfectly in ThunderX."