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From: slacker71110/6/2017 8:36:17 AM
2 Recommendations   of 149225
Qualcomm’s Falkor Targets Servers
September 19, 2017
Author: Tom R. Halfhill

Stretching for the semiconductor industry’s highest-hanging fruit, Qualcomm’s new ARMv8 Centriq processor is targeting Intel’s 99% dominance of the server market. Arriving later this year, Centriq will shake Intel’s tree in the hope that some of the high-margin fruit will fall into its waiting ARMs. The new Falkor CPU is a core part of this strategy.

Falkor resembles the ARM-compatible CPUs that Qualcomm formerly designed for its Snapdragon smartphone processors but adds some higher-performance features. In one major departure, it ditches 32-bit compatibility altogether in favor of software written only for the Aarch64 instruction set.

Centriq is designed mainly for cloud-service providers (CSPs) that need bushels of power-efficient parallelism to run numerous virtual machines for their remote clients. Sampling for almost a year, the 64-bit chips are scheduled to begin production in 4Q17.

The Centriq 2400 has 48 cores, far more than any Intel or AMD server processor. Qualcomm boasts that Centriq is the first server processor manufactured in 10nm FinFET technology, but this foundry process (likely Samsung’s) is similar to Intel’s current 14nm technology. Qualcomm has been vague about the chip’s clock speed and says only that it will exceed 2.0GHz—not exactly a speed demon for a chip manufactured in a next-generation IC process.

Falkor is not a Xeon-class CPU, as it lags Skylake in both superscalar decoding and instruction-reordering capacity, among other metrics. Thus, it’s best suited to applications with lightweight threads. It should be appealing for some data-center applications, particularly if the price is low. Like other ARM server vendors, Qualcomm will probably need more than one generation to produce a truly competitive server processor.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (138413)10/6/2017 8:39:49 AM
From: slacker711
1 Recommendation   of 149225
Qualcomm Centriq 2400 Processor: Designed for scalability and throughput performance on cloud datacenter workloads
OCT 5, 2017

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

When Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies unveiled the details of the Qualcomm Falkor CPU core in August, we discussed the market shift to a cloud-based computing model and how datacenter infrastructure is being optimized to address the demand for scalable performance under the unique characteristics of cloud software and services. Falkor, our fully custom core built specifically for the cloud datacenter market, was designed for optimal throughput performance and efficiency on today’s multi-threaded cloud workloads. Falkor serves as the scalable building block for the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 Processor, the world’s first 10nm server processor, which will begin shipping commercially later this year.

SoC architectures for cloud-based workloads must provide a balance of aggregate throughput performance and performance-per-watt efficiency. In addition, they must be designed for compute density and predictable performance in order to perform well in highly-loaded and multi-tenant environments. When developing the highly scalable 48-core Qualcomm Centriq 2400 SoC, we employed the same “built for the cloud” design philosophy from Falkor to all the other foundational elements of the SoC. Preliminary estimates based on internal testing show integer throughput performance comparable to Intel Xeon Platinum Series at significantly lower power.

At the 2017 Linley Processor Conference this week, we will share additional details about the SoC foundational elements and how they address the needs of cloud datacenter workloads:

Highly integrated server SoC: The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 SoC was designed using a scalable architecture to maximize efficiency and performance for throughput-oriented workloads. This single chip platform-level solution obviates the real estate, power, and cost of a separate chipset for I/O. The SoC is ARM SBSA Level 3 Compliant to help simplify development and deployment by our ecosystem partners and customers.

Qualcomm Falkor core as a building block: Our processor design team has a rich history of delivering high-performance, yet power-efficient, custom ARM CPUs for mobile platforms, and has brought this world-class design expertise to architect a CPU core specifically designed to support the features and performance demands of cloud service providers. Falkor is AArch64 only and fully ARMv8 compliant. The Falkor core duplex includes two custom Falkor CPUs, a shared 512 KB L2 cache with ECC (SEC/DED), and a shared system bus interface.

Scalable on-chip interconnect: The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 SoC includes a high-bandwidth and low-latency bi-directional segmented ring bus that utilizes a Qualcomm proprietary protocol. The multi-ring architecture and interconnect protocol are built for SoC scalability and outstanding throughput performance with capabilities such as full coherency (cache and I/O), shortest path routing, and multicast on read.

Distributed L3 Cache: The SoC includes a distributed 60MB non-inclusive/non-exclusive L3 Cache (12 x 5MB) with ECC (SEC/DED) that is 20-way set associative. The memory address is hashed across all 12 L3 cache blocks to evenly distribute accesses and smooth out access latencies. The memory subsystem includes innovative shared resource management techniques such as L3 Quality of Service (QoS) to improve cache utilization, reduce application latency, and manage cache resource bandwidth. Resources can be managed by virtual machine, container, or thread groups.

Scalable Multi-channel DDR: The memory subsystem includes six 64-bit DDR4 memory controllers with ECC (SEC/DEC). The SoC supports RDIMM or LRDIMM with one or two DIMMs per channel and memory speeds up to 2667 MT/second. The controllers have full out-of-order execution with memory addresses hashed across all DDRs. The design includes a proprietary algorithm for memory bandwidth enhancement via in-line and transparent memory compression. Memory compression is performed on a cache line granularity and delivers up to 50% compression and up to 2x memory bandwidth on highly compressible data.

Distributed IOMMUs: Distributed IO Memory Management Units (IOMMUs) provide address translation and access control with shared/distributed virtual memory support. Each major IO function (PCIe, DMA, SATA, etc.) includes dedicated instances to eliminate resource contention and enable concurrent page table lookup/translation for maximum I/O throughput and concurrency.

The Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies product roadmap is tailored to the emerging demands of highly-scalable, performant, and power-efficient servers that will fuel the next wave of cloud datacenters. We look forward to beginning commercial shipments of the Qualcomm Centriq 2400 — the world’s first 10nm server processor — by the end of 2017.

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To: slacker711 who wrote (138414)10/6/2017 8:40:56 AM
From: slacker711
1 Recommendation   of 149225
Qualcomm's presentation on Centriq at the Linley conference.

Any CPU experts want to comment on Qualcomm's competitiveness?

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To: slacker711 who wrote (138414)10/6/2017 8:52:51 AM
From: JeffreyHF
1 Recommendation   of 149225
With commercial product shipping by calendar year end, that begs the question, to whom?

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To: JeffreyHF who wrote (138416)10/6/2017 9:13:17 AM
From: slacker711
3 Recommendations   of 149225
Microsoft seems like the logical candidate to be the first customer.

QDT has been working with Microsoft for several years on ARM-based server enablement and has onsite engineering at Microsoft to collaboratively optimize a version of Windows Server, for Microsoft’s internal use in its data centers, on Qualcomm Centriq 2400-based systems. QDT’s OCP submission is the result of a multi-faceted, multi-level engagement between the two companies to facilitate ARM adoption into the data center. It encompasses multiple areas of hardware and software including board development, firmware, operating system, compilers and tools, and CoreCLR.

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From: JeffreyHF10/6/2017 9:27:51 AM
8 Recommendations   of 149225
NXP and Qualcomm have "submitted commitments" to the EU on 10/5/17. The EU Competition website has been updated to reflect that. This seems to suggest that a process of discussion has been moving forward during the suspension, and that we may be reaching an agreement with the EU, if the EU accepts those commitments. My assumption is that through discussions with the EU since 8/17, the submitted commitments are designed to satisfy the expressed concerns of the competition authority.

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To: JeffreyHF who wrote (138418)10/6/2017 9:29:18 AM
From: qbull
3 Recommendations   of 149225
Notification on:28.04.2017
Provisional deadline:
Commitments submitted in N/2 on 05.10.2017
Deadline suspended under Article 11(3) [date may differ from the Article 11(3) decision date] from 17.08.2017
Deadline suspension under Article 11(3) ended on 16.08.2017
Deadline suspended under Article 11(3) [date may differ from the Article 11(3) decision date] from 28.06.2017
Prior publication in Official Journal: C143 Of 06.05.2017
Concerns economic activity (NACE): C.26.3 - Manufacture of communication equipment
C.26.11 - Manufacture of electronic components
J.62.09 - Other information technology and computer service activities
Regulation:Council Regulation 139/2004
Decision(s):09.06.2017: Art. 6(1)(c)
C197 Of 21.06.2017
Press Release: IP/17/1592

Relation with other case(s):(none)
Other case related information(s):Section 1.2 of Form CO:
en (28.04.2017) published on 03.05.2017
Related link(s):

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To: qbull who wrote (138419)10/6/2017 9:43:16 AM
From: JeffreyHF
2 Recommendations   of 149225
NXPI is reacting by now trading at a new high, around $114.25. That suggests the arbs see this submission as a deal "positive", that will allow approvals and price renegotiation upwards. Given the soaring SOX since the deal was announced, and Paul Singer's activism (Elliott), I expect the ultimate price to be $120-125/share.

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From: JeffreyHF10/6/2017 10:29:52 AM
1 Recommendation   of 149225
NXP will report earnings on 10/25. Due to the pending acquisition by Qualcomm, they will not hold a conference call, nor provide forward guidance.

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From: slacker71110/6/2017 11:21:20 AM
9 Recommendations   of 149225
After the very open and odd discussion of the Qualcomm-Apple litigation with Bloomberg, Bruce Sewell is out as Apple's General Counsel.

Maybe he felt free to give that interview because he was leaving, but the entire interview seemed way more open than you usually see from Apple.


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