by Adam Armstrong

Cavium Announces New ARMv8 Processors & Reference Platforms

Cavium Inc has announced the availability of both single and dual socket of its ARMv8 ThunderX processors. The ThunderX product line is designed for next generation Data Center and Cloud infrastructure. Cavium also announced ThunderX CN88xx based reference platforms in two industry standard form factors.

The ThunderX line is the fifth generation of high-performance, multi-core processors building off of Cavium’s proven building blocks and architecture. The product family has several benefits: high performance custom cores, single and dual socket configurations, very high memory bandwidth, large memory capacity, integrated hardware accelerators, fully virtualized core and IO, scalable Ethernet fabric and feature rich I/Os enabling best in class performance per cost and performance per watt. There are four families in the product line: ThunderX_CP for compute workloads such as private and public clouds; ThunderX_ST for Cloud storage, big data, and distributed workloads; ThunderX_NT for Telecom/NFV server and embedded network applications; and ThunderX_SC for secure computing applications.

Features of the ThunderX processors include:

  • Scales from 24 to 48 cores
  • Up to 2.5GHz frequency
  • 78K-Icache and 32K-D cache per core, 16 MB shared L2
  • Both single and dual socket configurations support CCPI
  • Up to 4 DDR3/4 memory controller
  • Up to 1TB of memory in dual socket configuration
  • Multiple 10/40GE ports
  • 100GE connectivity

Cavium also announce two Reference Platforms: ThunderX 1K and ThunderX 2K. These industry standard reference platforms are aimed at helping OEM and ODM partners to accelerate time to market. Both platforms support IPMI based management through the Aspeed 2400 BMC controller with the AMI MegaRAC Management Solution, standard UEFI boot implementation with the AMI Aptio Firmware compliant with the SBSA and SBBR specifications, a wide variety of OSes including Red Hat, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Fedora, openSUSE and MontaVista along with industry standard software development environments such as Oracle’s Java8, OpenJDK, and the GNU tool chain."

Key features of each platform include:

ThunderX 1K

  • Single socket configuration
  • ATX form factor
  • 1U chassis
  • Dual redundant power supplies
  • 40 GbE QSFP+ and 10 GbE SFP+ ports
  • 2 x 8 PCIe Gen3 slots
  • 4 x 2.5”/3.5” HDD slots (with option for additional 8 x 2.5” HDDs)
  • 8 x DDR3 slots for standard RDIMMs up to 1866MHz

ThunderX 2K

  • Dual socket configuration
  • 1/2 SSI for factor sled
  • 2U chassis (can support up to 4 sleds)
  • Dual redundant power supplies
  • 40 GbE QSFP+ and 10 GbE SFP+ ports
  • 1 x 16 and 1 x 8 PCIe Gen3 slots
  • Up to 3 x 3.5” or 6 x 2.5” HDDs or SSDs
  • 8 x DDR4 slots for  standard RDIMMS up to 2133MHz


The new ThunderX processors and reference platforms are now available. Contact Cavium sales for pricing.

Cavium ThunderX page

Related News and Reviews