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Marvell SoC to power Baidu storage server

Posted: 22 Feb 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:storage server? SoC? Ethernet?

Chinese Internet search giant Baidu has chosen the Armada XP from Marvell to power a custom storage server. The news marks the first foot in the door for an ARM server SoC in what is a market dominated by x86 chips from Intel and AMD.

Most observers say the current 32bit chips available from Marvell and start-up Calxeda will have limited opportunities, given most software is based on 64bit code. As many as nine companies, including AMD, Applied Micro, Cavium, Nvidia, Samsung and Qualcomm are planning 64bit ARM server SoCs that will ship mainly starting in 2014.

The Baidu Pan storage server is a 2U-sized system packing 24 2.5-inch hard disc drives offering a total of 96 TBytes storage as well as two 10G and six gigabit Ethernet interfaces. Marvell won design wins for the overall server processor as well as drive controllers and an Ethernet switch in the system, said to be made by Wiwynn, a Taiwan manufacturer focused on data centre systems, spun out of Wistron.

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Marvell also designed server management software compliant with the IPMI 2.0 specification for the storage server. It claims the system consumers 25 per cent less power than an x86-based design.

"This was a collaborative design with the ODM and Baidu," said Ramesh Sivakolundu, general manager of cloud services and infrastructure at Marvell. "The market for cloud storage is significant, and there is a good play for 32bit chips there-the level of interest is very good."

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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