Applied Micro X-Gene is the very first processor to use ARM 64-bit architecture (ARMv8), not Cortex A53 or Cortex A57, but a custom implementation, and last year we’ve seen the company’s ARMv8 development board running 4 Linux virtual machines via KVM. The platform, called X-Gene X-C1, can now be pre-ordered to develop private cloud, public cloud, and enterprise applications.
There’s limited public information for now, but I could derive specifications from a few places on the web and available pictures:
- SoC – Applied Micro X-Gene eight core ARMv8 processor @ 2+GHz
- System Memory – 2x DDR3 memory slots
- Storage – 4x SATA 2/3 ports + SD card slot
- Connectivity – 3x 10 Gb Ethernet ports
- USB – 2x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, 1x mini USB port
- Expansion – PCIe Gen 3
- Monitoring DB9 Serial port
- Power – ATX
I don’t know what’s the metallic connector with holes between the two Ethernet ports connector and two USB 3.0 + Ethernet ports connector. Anybody knows? [Update: According to comments below, it could be an SPF or SPF+ slot. (enhanced small form-factor pluggable)]
The development platform will be delivered with the following software tools and stacks:
- Comprehensive Software Development Kit for software development and evaluation of the AppliedMicro X-Gene Family of products
- Quick start with OS, Boot Loader and Application Development
- Full customization and performance evaluation out of the box
- Full source code, binaries and tool chain provided
- Support for all the hardware features and accelerators within X-Gene
- Server based applications like LAMP and OpenStack out of the box Documentation
To find detailed information about the server development platform (hardware and software), you’ll need to register, and wait for approval. I’ve done that and waiting. I may be able to share information if I get approved, as the terms and conditions restrict redistribution of information, at least that’s what the automatic email says…
There’s a little bit information about software support in a presentation by Jon Masters, Red Hat’s chief ARM architect, at LISA (Large Installation System Adminitration conference) 2013, at the end of November of last year. At the time, X-C1 was running Fedora 19 Remix and only supported Aarch64, not Aarch32 (32-bit ARM), with over 12,000 packages available including LAMP stack, and GlusterFS.
After registration, and manual approval, you can get more information and pre-order the development board on https://myxgene.apm.com/ which happens to be hosted on the X-C1 development board. There’s no mention of the price on Applied Micro website, but Legit Reviews checked out the board at ARM Techcon 2013, and was told it would cost $5,000 and be available in Q1 2014.