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Archive for the ‘Data Processing Units’ Category

April 2nd, 2021

Marvell Enables O-RAN to Help 5G Fulfill its True Potential

By Marvell, PR Team

At the most recent FierceWireless 5G Blitz Week, some of the world’s leading 5G innovators met via webinar to discuss the potential of O-RAN and challenges of the ongoing 5G rollout. In a keynote, EVP and General Manager of Marvell’s Processors Business Group Raj Singh explored the accelerating shift to O-RAN, which is an emerging open-source architecture for Radio Access Networks that enables customers to create better 5G applications by mixing and matching RAN technology from different vendors.

O-RAN architectures are compelling because they increase competition among vendors, reduce costs, and offer customers greater flexibility to combine RAN elements according to their application’s specific use cases. However, in addition to their obvious benefits, O-RAN solutions also raise operator concerns including potential challenges with integration, legacy support, interoperability and security – issues that Marvell and other companies in the Open RAN Policy Coalition are addressing through shared standards, proven solutions and innovative approaches.

As Raj noted, open RAN doesn’t change what is being processed, but where. Marvell’s O-RAN solutions address Radio Units, Distributed Units and Centralized Units. We provide reference hardware designs and protocol stack software implementations. He added that while the transition from RAN to O-RAN may take years, the market need is urgent, because general-purpose processors are sub-optimal for L1 functions.

In a separate roundtable discussion on O-RAN, Raj joined panelists from Rethink Technology Research, Vodafone, Facebook Connectivity, and Analog Devices to explore ways in which network operators, technology influencers and system integrators are working to expedite the availability of O-RAN in the 5G marketplace.

Panelists noted that once the O-RAN transition is complete, it will offer customers greater supply chain flexibility and diversity, better performance, more collaboration, bigger economies of scale, lower capital expenditures, and also drive further innovation.

That said, work remains in translating this vision into reality, because customers are unwilling to sacrifice familiar features, standards and security during the transition. “You can’t just say ‘oh, it’s Open-RAN, and it doesn’t have to do this, or doesn’t have to do that,” Raj said. “You have to have the same capacity, reliability, and feature parity that exists in networks today.”

These discussions with industry leaders demonstrate the significant inroads being made in advancing the ORAN architecture.

Fierce Wireless 5G Spring Blitz replay available here

ORAN Round Table Replay available here

July 25th, 2019

Marvell Recognized for Arm-based Server CPU Leadership

By Kumar Sankaran, Senior Director, Product Management, Marvell

Marvell has been selected by IT Brand Pulse’s 2019 IT pro voting as the leader in Arm®-based server CPUs. In a clean sweep across all categories, Marvell’s ThunderX® was voted as the leader in market, price, performance, reliability, service and support, and innovation. The results are based on an independent, non-sponsored survey given to IT professionals on server products. The survey is conducted once a year by IT Brand Pulse, a trusted source for research, data and analysis about data center infrastructure.

Marvell® ThunderX® processors, based on the Armv8-A architecture, bring industry-leading compute and memory performance as well as technology innovation backed by a rich ecosystem of more than 70+ partners. As the most widely supported and deployed Arm-based server processor in the world, Marvell ThunderX processors power High-Performance Computing, Cloud and Edge applications.

October 17th, 2018

Marvell Demonstrates Edge Computing Powered by AWS Greengrass at Arm TechCon 2018

By Maen Suleiman, Senior Software Product Line Manager, Marvell

and Gorka Garcia, Senior Lead Engineer, Marvell Semiconductor, Inc.

Thanks to the respective merits of its ARMADA® and OCTEON TX® multi-core processor offerings, Marvell is in a prime position to address a broad spectrum of demanding applications situated at the edge of the network. These applications can serve a multitude of markets that include small business, industrial and enterprise, and will require special technologies like efficient packet processing, machine learning and connectivity to the cloud. As part of its collaboration with Amazon Web Services® (AWS), Marvell will be illustrating the capabilities of edge computing applications through an exciting new demo that will be shown to attendees at Arm TechCon – which is being held at the San Jose Convention Center, October 16th-18th.

This demo takes the form of an automated parking lot. An ARMADA processor-based Marvell MACCHIATObin® community board, which integrates the AWS Greengrass® software, is used to serve as an edge compute node. The Marvell edge compute node receives video streams from two cameras that are placed at the entry gate and exit of the parking lot. The ARMADA processor-based compute node runs AWS Greengrass Core; executes two Lambda functions to process the incoming video streams and identify the vehicles entering the garage through their license plates; and subsequently checks whether the vehicles are authorized or unauthorized to enter the parking lot.

The first Lambda function will be running Automatic License Plate Recognition (OpenALPR) software and it obtains the license plate number and delivers it together with the gate ID (Entry/Exit) to a Lambda function running on the AWS® cloud that will access a DynamoDB® database. The cloud Lambda function will be responsible for reading the DynamoDB whitelist database and determines if the license plate belongs to an authorized car. This information will be sent back to a second Lambda function on the edge of the network, on the MACCHIATObin board, responsible for managing the parking lot capacity and opening or closing the gate. This Lambda function will be logging the activity in the edge to the AWS Cloud Elasticsearch® service, which works as a backend for Kibana®, an open source data visualization engine. Kibana will enable a remote operative to have direct access to information concerning parking lot occupancy, entry gate status and exit gate status.  Furthermore, the AWS Cognito service authenticates users for access to Kibana.

 

 

After the AWS Cloud Lambda function sends the verdict (allowed/denied) to the second Lambda function running on the MACCHIATObin board, this MACCHIATObin Lambda function will be responsible for communicating with the gate controller, which is comprised of a Marvell ESPRESSObin® board, and is used to open/close the gateway as required.

The ESPRESSObin board runs as an AWS Greengrass IoT device that will be responsible for opening the gate according to the information received from the MACCHIATObin board’s second Lambda function.

This demo showcases the capabilities to run a machine learning algorithm using AWS Lambda at the edge to make the identification process extremely fast. This is possible through the high performance, low-power Marvell OCTEON TX and ARMADA multi-core processors. Marvell infrastructure processors’ capabilities have the potential to cover a range of higher-end networking and security applications that can benefit from the maturity of the Arm® ecosystem and the ability to run machine learning in a multi-core environment at the edge of the network.

Those visiting the Arm Infrastructure Pavilion (Booth# 216) at Arm TechCon (San Jose Convention Center, October 16th-18th) will be able to see the Marvell Edge Computing demo powered by AWS Greengrass.

For information on how to enable AWS Greengrass on Marvell MACCHIATObin and Marvell ESPRESSObin community boards, please visit http://wiki.macchiatobin.net/tiki-index.php?page=AWS+Greengrass+on+MACCHIATObin and http://wiki.espressobin.net/tiki-index.php?page=AWS+Greengrass+on+ESPRESSObin.

 

 

April 30th, 2018

ARMADA 3720 SoC Enables Ground-Breaking Modular Router from CZ.NIC

By Maen Suleiman, Senior Software Product Line Manager, Marvell

Marvell ARMADA® embedded processors are part of another exciting networking solution for a crowdfunding project and are helping “power” the global open hardware and software engineering community as innovative new products are developed. CZ.NIC, an open source networking research team based in the Czech Republic, just placed its Turris MOX modular networking appliance on the Indiegogo® platform and has already obtained over $110,000 in financial backing.

MOX has a highly flexible modular arrangement. Central to this is a network processing module featuring a Marvell® ARMADA 3720 network processing system-on-chip (SoC). This powerful yet energy efficient 64-bit device includes dual Cortex®-A53 ARM® processor cores and an extensive array of high speed IOs (PCIe 2.0, 2.5 GbE, USB 3.0, etc.).

Figure 1: The MOX Solution from CZ.NIC

The MOX concept is simple to understand. Rather than having to procure a router with excessive features and resources that all add to the cost but actually prove to be superfluous, users can just buy a single MOX that can subsequently be extended into whatever form of network appliance a user needs. Attachment of additional modules means that specific functionality can be provided to meet exact user expectations. There is an Ethernet module that adds 4 GbE ports, a fiber module that adds fiber optic SFP connectivity, and an extension module that adds a mini PCIe connection. At a later stage, if requirements change, it is possible for that same MOX to be repurposed into a completely different appliance by adding appropriate modules.


                        Figure 2: The MOX Add-On Modules – Base, Extension, Ethernet and SFP

The MOX units run on Turris OS, an open source operating system built on top of the extremely popular OpenWrt® embedded Linux® distribution (as supported by Marvell’s ARMADA processors). This gives the appliance a great deal of flexibility, allowing it to execute a wide variety of different networking functions that enable it to operate as an email server, web server, firewall, etc. Additional MOX modules are already under development and will be available soon.

This project follows on CZ.NIC’s previous crowdfunding campaign using Marvell’s ARMADA SoC processing capabilities for the Turris Omnia high performance open source router – which gained huge public interest and raised 9x its original investment target. Turris MOX underlines the validity of the open source software ecosystem that has been built up around the ARMADA SoC to help customers bring their ideas to life.

Click here to learn more on this truly unique Indiegogo campaign.

 

February 22nd, 2018

Marvell to Demonstrate CyberTAN White Box Solution Incorporating the Marvell ARMADA 8040 SoC Running Telco Systems NFVTime Universal CPE OS at Mobile World Congress 2018

By Maen Suleiman, Senior Software Product Line Manager, Marvell

As more workloads are moving to the edge of the network, Marvell continues to advance technology that will enable the communication industry to benefit from the huge potential that network function virtualization (NFV) holds. At this year’s Mobile World Congress (Barcelona, 26th Feb to 1st Mar 2018), Marvell, along with some of its key technology collaborators, will be demonstrating a universal CPE (uCPE) solution that will enable telecom operators, service providers and enterprises to deploy needed virtual network functions (VNFs) to support their customers’ demands.

The ARMADA® 8040 uCPE solution, one of several ARMADA edge computing solutions to be introduced to the market, will be located at the Arm booth (Hall 6, Stand 6E30) and will run Telco Systems NFVTime uCPE operating system (OS) with two deployed off-the-shelf VNFs provided by 6WIND and Trend Micro, respectively, that enable virtual routing and security functionalities.  The CyberTAN white box solution is designed to bring significant improvements in both cost effectiveness and system power efficiency compared to traditional offerings while also maintaining the highest degrees of security.

CyberTAN white box solution incorporating Marvell ARMADA 8040 SoC

 

The CyberTAN white box platform is comprised of several key Marvell technologies that bring an integrated solution designed to enable significant hardware cost savings. The platform incorporates the power-efficient Marvell® ARMADA 8040 system-on-chip (SoC) based on the Arm Cortex®-A72 quad-core processor, with up to 2GHz CPU clock speed, and Marvell E6390x Link Street® Ethernet switch on-board. The Marvell Ethernet switch supports 10G uplink and 8 x 1GbE ports along with integrated PHYs, four of which are auto-media GbE ports (combo ports).

The CyberTAN white box benefits from the Marvell ARMADA 8040 processor’s rich feature set and robust software ecosystem, including:

  • both commercial and industrial grade offerings
  • dual 10G connectivity, 10G Crypto and IPSEC support
  • SBSA compliancy
  • Arm TrustZone support
  • broad software support from the following: UEFI, Linux, DPDK, ODP, OPTEE, Yocto, OpenWrt, CentOS and more

In addition, the uCPE platform supports Mini PCI Express (mPCIe) expansion slots that can enable Marvell advanced 11ac/11ax Wi-Fi or additional wired/wireless connectivity, up to 16GB DDR4 DIMM, 2 x M.2 SATA, one SATA and eMMC options for storage, SD and USB expansion slots for additional storage or other wired/wireless connectivity such as LTE.

At the Arm booth, Telco Systems will demonstrate its NFVTime uCPE operating system on the CyberTAN white box, with zero-touch provisioning (ZTP) feature. NFVTime is an intuitive NFVi-OS that facilitates the entire process of deploying VNFs onto the uCPE, and avoids the complex and frustrating management and orchestration activities normally associated with putting NFV-based services into action. The demonstration will include two main VNFs:

  • A 6WIND virtual router VNF based on 6WIND Turbo Router which provides high performance, ready-to-use virtual routing and firewall functionality; and
  • A Trend Micro security VNF based on Trend Micro’s Virtual Function Network Suite (VNFS) that offers elastic and high-performance network security functions which provide threat defense and enable more effective and faster protection.

Please contact your Marvell sales representative to arrange a meeting at Mobile World Congress or drop by the Arm booth (Hall 6, Stand 6E30) during the conference to see the uCPE solution in action.

February 5th, 2018

Marvell SoC Technology Underpins Powerful pfSense Secure Gateway

By Maen Suleiman, Senior Software Product Line Manager, Marvell

Marvell’s ground-breaking ARMADA® 38x processor series continues to see momentum in integration into new network and security designs. Most recently, the ARMADA 385 processor has been incorporated into Netgate’s new SG-3100 product offering.

Netgate’s objective with the SG-3100 was to bring to market an entry-level secure gateway solution that offered substantially more horsepower than competing products in the same price range. The target criteria for the new design were:

  • Significantly greater performance
  • A broader range of functionality
  • Flexible configuration to suit customers’ particular needs

Marvell’s engineering team was pleased to collaborate with Netgate on this ambitious project.

Figure 1: Netgate SG-3100 powered by Marvell ARMADA 385 Processor

 

The SG-3100 exhibits a high degree of flexibility and can be employed as a security firewall, LAN, router or WAN router, or VPN solution. It can also act as a DHCP server or DNS server, as well as providing intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS) capabilities. This extremely configurable unit comes equipped with 8GB eMMC Flash data storage or two m.2 SATA-based solid-state drives (SSDs), and also supports the LTE standard. Thanks to its Marvell® 88E6141 4-port switched LAN interface, the compact, cost-effective product easily facilitates bridging multiple wired and wireless networks.

Several factors drove Netgate’s decision to use Marvell’s ARMADA 385, starting with the ARMADA 38x ecosystem, which includes the ARMADA 38x ClearFog community board from SolidRun, and the ARMADA 38x FreeBSD port developed by Semihalf. Additionally, an increasing number of pfSense users had requested access to a board that provided three Ethernet ports, especially for dual-WAN operation. The ARMADA 385’s extensive embedded connectivity satisfies this need.

Based on the Arm® Cortex®-A9 topology, the ARMADA 385 system-on-chip (SoC) at the heart of the SG-3100 provides highly effective, dual-core processing capabilities. The SoC has a total of three Ethernet ports – two that support 1 Gbps data rates and a third capable of supporting either 2.5 Gbps or 1 Gbps. In the SG-3100 design, the ARMADA 385 is accompanied by Marvell’s 88E6141 multi-port Ethernet switch, which also supports 2.5Gbps operation through one of its ports.

The Netgate SG-3100 runs at 1.6GHz and is ideal for small offices and domestic environments. And thanks to the constituent IC technology, this solution packs serious throughput at a very compelling price.

 

January 23rd, 2018

New Brew: Latest MACCHIATObin Community Boards are Able to Address Much Wider Scope of Developer Requirements

By Maen Suleiman, Senior Software Product Line Manager, Marvell

Following the success of the MACCHIATObin® development platform, which was released back in the spring, Marvell and technology partner SolidRun have now announced the next stage in the progression of this hardware offering. After drawing on the customer feedback received, a series of enhancements to the original concept have subsequently been made, so that these mini-ITX boards are much more optimized for meeting the requirements of engineers.

Marvell and SolidRun announce the availability of two new MACCHIATObin products that will supersede the previous release. They are the MACCHIATObin Single Shot and the MACCHIATObin Double Shot boards.

As before, these mini-ITX format networking community boards both feature the powerful processing capabilities of Marvell’s ARMADA® 8040 system-on-chip (SoC) and stay true to the original objective of bringing an affordable Arm-based development resource with elevated performance to the market. However, now engineers have a choice in terms of how much supporting functionality comes with it – thus making the platform even more attractive and helping to reach a much wider audience.

Figure 1: MACCHIATObin Single Shot (left) and MACCHIATObin Double Shot (right)

The more streamlined MACCHIATObin Single Shot option presents an entry level board that should appeal to engineers with budgetary constraints. This has a much lower price tag than the original board, coming in at just $199. It comes with two 10G SFP+ connectors without the option of two 10G copper connectors, and also doesn’t come with default DDR4 DIMM as its predecessor, but still has a robust 1.6GHz processing speed.

This is complemented by the higher performance MACCHIATObin Double Shot. This unleashes the full 2GHz of processing capacity that can be derived from the ARMADA 8040, which relies on a 64-bit quad-core Arm Cortex-A72 processor core. 4GB of DDR4 DIMM is included. At only $399 it represents great value for money – costing only slightly more than the original, but with extra features and stronger operational capabilities being delivered. It comes with additional accessories that are not in the Single Shot package – including a power cable and a microUSB-to-USB cable.

Both the Single Shot and Double Shot versions incorporate heatsink and fan mechanisms in order to ensure that better reliability is maintained through more effective thermal management. The fan has an airflow of 6.7 cubic feet per minute (CFM) with low noise operation. A number of layout changes have been implemented upon the original design to better utilize the available space and to make the board more convenient for those using it. For example, the SD card slot has been moved to make it more accessible and likewise the SATA connectors are now better positioned, allowing easier connection of multiple cables. The micro USB socket has also been relocated to aid engineers.

A 3-pin UART header has been added to the console UART (working in parallel with FTDI USB-to-UART interface IC). This means that developers now have an additional connectivity option that they can utilize, making the MACCHIATObin community board more suitable for deployment in remote locations or where it needs to interface with legacy equipment (that do not have a USB port). The DIP switches have been replaced with jumpers, which again gives the boards greater versatility. The JTAG connector is not assembled by default, the PCI Express (PCIe) x4 slot has been replaced with an open PCIx4 slot so that it can accommodate a wider variety of different board options (like x8 and x16, as well as x4 PCIe) such as graphics processor cards, etc. to be connected. Furthermore, the fixed LED emitter has been replaced by one that is general purpose input/output (GPIO) controlled, thereby enabling operational activity to be indicated.

The fact that these units have the same form factor as the original, means that they offer a like-for-like replacement for the previous model of the MACCHIATObin board. Therefore existing designs that are already using this board can be upgraded to the higher performance MACCHIATObin Double Shot version or conversely scaled down to the MACCHIATObin Single Shot in order to reduce the associated costs.

Together the MACCHIATObin Double Shot and Single Shot boards show that the team at Marvell are always listening to our customer base and responding to their needs. Learning from the first MACCHIATObin release, we have been able to make significant refinements, and consequently develop two new very distinct product offerings. One that addresses engineers that are working to a tight budget, for which the previous board would not have been viable, and the other for engineers that want to boost performance levels.