Marvell Semiconductor is sampling its Armada 7000 and Armada 8000 system-on-chips (SoCs), based on the ARM Cortex-A72 architecture.
Marvell reckons the SoCs are good for appliances from SOHO up to data centres, with dual- and quad-core versions, and are in the hands of "tier 1" vendors' design teams.
The centrepiece of the two Armada chips is the "MoChi" (modular chip) interface. MoChi is Marvell's approach to interconnecting devices where the SoC needs too many functions or interfaces to fit on a single chip.
It provides an interconnect to make multiple modules look, to the Armada 7000/8000 driver, as if they're a single integrated operation (the company calls this vSoC, virtual system-on-chip). This lets the two SoC families integrate multiple 10 Gbps Ethernet ports, each running packet processing and offload engines for security and storage.
The Armada 8000 also includes:
- Quad- and dual-core ARM Cortex-A72 at 2.0GHz
- 1MB shared L2 cache; 1MB exclusive L3 cache
- Full ARMv8-A CPU virtualisation and I/O virtualisation
- Coherent memory subsystem
- Networking packet processor with 2x10GbE + 4x2.5GbE connectivity
- A 10 gigapackets per second security engine supporting IPsec and SSL offload
- DDR3/3L/4 32b/64b+ECC extension, and SATA3.0, USB3.0, PCIe3.0