Cavium unveils Project Thunder
Processor manufacturer Cavium has announced Project Thunder Initiative, which will provide a family of highly integrated, multi-core system-on-a-chip processors. The SoCs will have highly optimized ARMv8 cores, with features, performance, power and price designed for cloud and datacenter markets. Solutions, prepared in collaboration with other leading providers, will be available alongside their existing OCTEON and NITROX processor families, providing compute and storage applications for their target market.
With many applications now moving onto the cloud, millions of end users are simultaneously accessing services and applications, with unprecedented growth and scaling. Due to the nature of the cloud, with unpredictable peak usage, large numbers of processing cores are needed to provide real-time response, but not necessarily with the high speeds found on many current desktop products.
Project Thunder will utilize custom cores, based on ARM's 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set architecture (ISA). ARM has two different v8 cores, designed to be built using 20nm silicon, which are expected to be available some time in 2014. The ARMv8 architecture supports existing 32-bit code, alongside the new 64-bit AArch64 capabilities. The existing AArch32 (32-bit) functionality has also been improved on for ARMv8. Key to the new architecture is compatibility with ARMv7 architecture, as well as adding NEON advanced SIMD instructions.
More details on the project and SKUs will be released at a later date.