X-Gene 3 in 2016 – no, not a superhero movie. It's a 16nm FinFET 64-bit ARM chip for servers

Applied Micro promises TSMC-fabbed CPUs

By Chris Williams, Editor in Chief

Posted in Servers, 16th November 2015 19:43 GMT

In-brief Applied Micro has vowed to unleash upon the world the X-Gene 3, a 64-bit ARM-compatible server processor made using FinFET gates.

The 32-core ARMv8-compatible chips will be manufactured by TSMC using a 16nm process, can be clocked up to 3GHz, and will feature eight DDR4-2667 memory channels and 42 PCIe 3 lanes, if all goes to plan.

Samples of the silicon will be sent to customers in the second half of next year, so it may not hit production volumes until 2017. Applied Micro claims the X-Gene 3 will be "the industry’s first ARMv8-A FinFET server system-on-chip," which is a bold claim as it may be beaten to the punch by Qualcomm, which is also brewing FinFET ARM chippery for data centers.

"We are finally ready to take the lid off something we have been working on for the last two years in stealth mode," said Applied Micro's CEO Dr Paramesh Gopi.

The X-Gene family emerged in 2011, and has ended up in HP Moonshot machines and PayPal racks.

Applied Micro has also apparently come up with an interconnect called X-Tend that "connects multiple X-Gene nodes to each other while presenting multiple terabytes of shared DRAM memory as a single cluster." ®

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