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Thread: Calxeda Claims 15x Advantage Over Intel Xeon

  1. #11
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    this bench is such a joke. and we're not even april one.

  2. #12
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    Me thinks that there is more to all of this than meets the eye. HP and Dell would not be investing in ARM micro servers as heavily as they are without reason. Aside from the Intel Centerton and the new AMD Fusion APUs coming out ARM will have Cortex A15 SoCs in quad and 8 way configurations late this year/early next. If anything the Cortex A9 based units from HP and Dell may just be for product validation and testing with the intention of going full scale with Cortex A15 parts.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkseider View Post
    Me thinks that there is more to all of this than meets the eye. HP and Dell would not be investing in ARM micro servers as heavily as they are without reason. Aside from the Intel Centerton and the new AMD Fusion APUs coming out ARM will have Cortex A15 SoCs in quad and 8 way configurations late this year/early next. If anything the Cortex A9 based units from HP and Dell may just be for product validation and testing with the intention of going full scale with Cortex A15 parts.
    There are two reasons:
    1. ARM is low power, although frankly it won't be much better than the new dual-core (and quad-core next year) ultradense Atom server blades that are coming out at the same time. As this review showed, "low power" means absolute power draw only here, and *not* performance-per-watt where the beefier Intel system is definitely in the lead despite the massive number fudging used by Calxeda to show otherwise.

    2. ARM is *dirt freakin cheap* since you can get a full SoC that includes most of your peripherals for very little money. Part of the issue here is that you often give up a bunch of the high-speed and high-performance I/O interfaces that people take for granted on the PC. For example, something as simple as a PCIe controller is *incredibly* rare in the ARM world (I think Marvell may be the only company anywhere with a product, although some other companies may come up with solutions next year). So once again it is a tradeoff.

    There is certainly a niche for ARM servers, but I find it hilarious when the same people who say that Intel can't ever make a dent in the smartphone market also say that ARM is going to rule the server market by next Tuesday or something. Intel has gone a much much greater distance in the direction that it needs to go to compete in mobile devices than ARM has in going to gain any real foothold in the server market. Case in point: 64 bit? Doesn't exist in the ARM world except for projections of what will happen when ARM v8 devices start to hit in 2014 (or maybe even 2015). ECC RAM support? Doesn't exist in the ARM world, they need to redesign the memory controllers for it. The list goes on from there.

  4. #14
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    Default Adjusting for those TDP issues, it looks like the ARM chip wins by about 4.5 times

    And the test is still tilted heavily in their favor. But 4.5x seems much more realistic than 15x.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckula View Post
    There are two reasons:
    1. ARM is low power, although frankly it won't be much better than the new dual-core (and quad-core next year) ultradense Atom server blades that are coming out at the same time. As this review showed, "low power" means absolute power draw only here, and *not* performance-per-watt where the beefier Intel system is definitely in the lead despite the massive number fudging used by Calxeda to show otherwise.

    2. ARM is *dirt freakin cheap* since you can get a full SoC that includes most of your peripherals for very little money. Part of the issue here is that you often give up a bunch of the high-speed and high-performance I/O interfaces that people take for granted on the PC. For example, something as simple as a PCIe controller is *incredibly* rare in the ARM world (I think Marvell may be the only company anywhere with a product, although some other companies may come up with solutions next year). So once again it is a tradeoff.

    There is certainly a niche for ARM servers, but I find it hilarious when the same people who say that Intel can't ever make a dent in the smartphone market also say that ARM is going to rule the server market by next Tuesday or something. Intel has gone a much much greater distance in the direction that it needs to go to compete in mobile devices than ARM has in going to gain any real foothold in the server market. Case in point: 64 bit? Doesn't exist in the ARM world except for projections of what will happen when ARM v8 devices start to hit in 2014 (or maybe even 2015). ECC RAM support? Doesn't exist in the ARM world, they need to redesign the memory controllers for it. The list goes on from there.
    did you even read the publicly available spec http://www.calxeda.com/wp-content/up...-Brief-612.pdf it says right there
    "Key Features"
    "..Integrated high-performance interfaces such as memory
    controllers with full ECC support
    and I/O subsystems for local SATA
    2.0 ports and PCIe 2.0 support"

    did you blink and miss all these options for ARM you say are missing but in fact are NOT missing at all , in fact some ARM blocks are at the for front of improving speed for everyone even in the x86 space with scalable native PCIe to SSD SOC
    http://denalimemoryreport.wordpress....d-ssd-designs/

    http://www.marvell.com/storage/syste...rollers-WP.pdf

    ECC RAM support hardware blocks are everywhere just because YOUR current ARM Mobile phone SOC doesn't have it specified doesn't mean it doesn't exist perhaps you might try the ARM database first before wrongly assuming next time http://infocenter.arm.com/help/index...h09s04s02.html its even got its own entry on the latest High speed ARM AMBA 4 AXI bus OC

    Cortex-R5 Technical Reference Manual Revision: r1p2
    Home > Level Two Interface > AXI slave interface > TCM ECC support

    9.4.2. TCM ECC support


    The TCMs can support ECC, as described in TCM internal error detection and correction. If a write transaction is issued to the AXI slave, the slave interface calculates the required ECC bits to store to the TCM. If the write data width is smaller than the ECC chunk size then a read-modify-write sequence is automatically performed by the AXI slave."



    what else, oh 64bit samples exist and are being worked on right now http://lists.linux-foundation.org/pi...ne/000551.html
    "Will Deacon arm.com The majority of work and discussion around the ARM port is currently focussed on platform code and soc support, as shown by the git traffic generated from the new arm-soc tree.

    However, there are still a few of us working on the core architecturewhich now has support for large physical addresses, virtualisation and other exciting bits and pieces which require work in the core port. There's also a 64-bit architecture on the way...." and when he says on the way he means generally
    availability OC ,not it doesn't exist yet, its already with partners.
    http://lists.linux-foundation.org/pi...ne/000574.html
    ".... PCI breakout session. One of the next major pieces for ARM
    consolidation and DeviceTree support is PCI support. More ARM platformsare appearing with PCIe. I think there's opportunity for consolidation with PowerPC DT PCI code."

    Samsung sell a 512bit memory bus SOC block and chips etc ....you get the idea, Google an ARM block of your choice and it will probably already exist today, and if so it will be in someones commercial SOC and being used right now somewhere you never even considered... will it be available in ARM YOUR Phone next Tuesday for you to use OC not, but it may already be in that SOC and not even used OC so you would never know, for instance.

    http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/...ne/004373.html
    "Henrik Nordström wrote:> tor 2012-06-14 klockan 19:45 +0800 skrev Tom Cubie:
    >
    >
    >> All hardware? That will be interesting. There are some peripherals in
    >> A10 are never used, nor there are linux drivers for it,even very few
    >> people know A10 has that function, like can bus controller, memery
    >> stick conroller...
    >
    > Is the memory stick controller available to be configured on any pins?
    > Have only seen references to there being a ms controller but no pin
    > information at all. Or any driver...


    information on memory stick is subject to NDAs. E.g. TI always
    omitted MS docs for their chipsets and only provided them
    to MS NDA customers..
    "
    Last edited by popper; 06-25-2012 at 02:13 AM.

  6. #16
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    OK... so before you have another heart attack, I was referring to *shipping* ARM systems. Despite the fact that Calxeda's marketing department called the Atom "vaporware", the Atom actually is shipped in computers today. This ECX-1000 looks nice on paper but is in the development stage for one or two vendors. That's not the same thing as shipping. As for the rest of your rant, I'm not sure what you are trying to prove other than ARM is gradually adding the same features that are expected of even econo-grade server boxes. It's great that these things are being added, but it doesn't mean ARM is going to destroy x86 tomorrow either. As for your "64 bit is already being tested" well so what. 64 bit was being "tested" 13 years ago by both AMD *and* Intel (AMD got to market first but Intel had internal samples for years before the first 64 bit x86 Intel chips were released). If we go by your metric Intel is "testing" next-gen Atoms that are way better than any chip you can get in a smartphone or tablet today, but that doesn't mean Intel is going to take over the smartphone market by next tuesday either.


    Try to be a little less religious about ARM, especially in the Linux world ARM seems to get lots of worship even though their products are vastly more proprietary and locked down than anything Intel or AMD make.

    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    did you even read the publicly available spec http://www.calxeda.com/wp-content/up...-Brief-612.pdf it says right there
    "Key Features"
    "..Integrated high-performance interfaces such as memory
    controllers with full ECC support
    and I/O subsystems for local SATA
    2.0 ports and PCIe 2.0 support"

    did you blink and miss all these options for ARM you say are missing but in fact are NOT missing at all , in fact some ARM blocks are at the for front of improving speed for everyone even in the x86 space with scalable native PCIe to SSD SOC
    http://denalimemoryreport.wordpress....d-ssd-designs/

    http://www.marvell.com/storage/syste...rollers-WP.pdf

    ECC RAM support hardware blocks are everywhere just because YOUR current ARM Mobile phone SOC doesn't have it specified doesn't mean it doesn't exist perhaps you might try the ARM database first before wrongly assuming next time http://infocenter.arm.com/help/index...h09s04s02.html its even got its own entry on the latest High speed ARM AMBA 4 AXI bus OC

    Cortex-R5 Technical Reference Manual Revision: r1p2
    Home > Level Two Interface > AXI slave interface > TCM ECC support

    9.4.2. TCM ECC support


    The TCMs can support ECC, as described in TCM internal error detection and correction. If a write transaction is issued to the AXI slave, the slave interface calculates the required ECC bits to store to the TCM. If the write data width is smaller than the ECC chunk size then a read-modify-write sequence is automatically performed by the AXI slave."



    what else, oh 64bit samples exist and are being worked on right now http://lists.linux-foundation.org/pi...ne/000551.html
    "Will Deacon arm.com The majority of work and discussion around the ARM port is currently focussed on platform code and soc support, as shown by the git traffic generated from the new arm-soc tree.

    However, there are still a few of us working on the core architecturewhich now has support for large physical addresses, virtualisation and other exciting bits and pieces which require work in the core port. There's also a 64-bit architecture on the way...." and when he says on the way he means generally
    availability OC ,not it doesn't exist yet, its already with partners.
    http://lists.linux-foundation.org/pi...ne/000574.html
    ".... PCI breakout session. One of the next major pieces for ARM
    consolidation and DeviceTree support is PCI support. More ARM platformsare appearing with PCIe. I think there's opportunity for consolidation with PowerPC DT PCI code."

    Samsung sell a 512bit memory bus SOC block and chips etc ....you get the idea, Google an ARM block of your choice and it will probably already exist today, and if so it will be in someones commercial SOC and being used right now somewhere you never even considered... will it be available in ARM YOUR Phone next Tuesday for you to use OC not, but it may already be in that SOC and not even used OC so you would never know, for instance.

    http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/...ne/004373.html
    "Henrik Nordström wrote:> tor 2012-06-14 klockan 19:45 +0800 skrev Tom Cubie:
    >
    >
    >> All hardware? That will be interesting. There are some peripherals in
    >> A10 are never used, nor there are linux drivers for it,even very few
    >> people know A10 has that function, like can bus controller, memery
    >> stick conroller...
    >
    > Is the memory stick controller available to be configured on any pins?
    > Have only seen references to there being a ms controller but no pin
    > information at all. Or any driver...


    information on memory stick is subject to NDAs. E.g. TI always
    omitted MS docs for their chipsets and only provided them
    to MS NDA customers..
    "

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckula View Post
    OK... so before you have another heart attack, I was referring to *shipping* ARM systems.

    Despite the fact that Calxeda's marketing department called the Atom "vaporware", the Atom actually is shipped in computers today.

    This ECX-1000 looks nice on paper but is in the development stage for one or two vendors. That's not the same thing as shipping. As for the rest of your rant, I'm not sure what you are trying to prove other than ARM is gradually adding the same features that are expected of even econo-grade server boxes. It's great that these things are being added, but it doesn't mean ARM is going to destroy x86 tomorrow either.

    As for your "64 bit is already being tested" well so what. 64 bit was being "tested" 13 years ago by both AMD *and* Intel (AMD got to market first but Intel had internal samples for years before the first 64 bit x86 Intel chips were released).

    If we go by your metric Intel is "testing" next-gen Atoms that are way better than any chip you can get in a smartphone or tablet today, but that doesn't mean Intel is going to take over the smartphone market by next tuesday either.


    Try to be a little less religious about ARM, especially in the Linux world ARM seems to get lots of worship even though their products are vastly more proprietary and locked down than anything Intel or AMD make.
    LOL your a funny guy "another heart attack," indeed LOL, although you seem to be full of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, as regards ARM cortex and that's a shame given its been a great week to make lots of cash potential with all the news finally appearing for the masses that don't follow its progress ....

    "Despite the fact that Calxeda's marketing department called the Atom "vaporware""
    a direct URL pointing to these exact words to prove your point if in fact there is one and not simply more FUD and mis interpretation on your part please.

    you do realize that the next atom, is finally at the real tick/tock as it finally moves over to Ivy bridge after a full 5 years of not changing its core, so i agree the ivy bridge SOC may look a lot better than before, we shall see..... as for "religion" and spreading FUD ill leave that to you and the other Luddite puddles
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kK1Y...eature=related
    The Origin of God - Douglas Adams

    or the short version rather apt in context of and for the x86 dinosaurs with their heads in the sand
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-tC9MU852k
    Douglas Adams: The sentient puddle, read by Richard Dawkins
    Last edited by popper; 06-28-2012 at 07:41 AM.

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