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Market Research Report

Multicore Processors Accelerating Network Virtualization: A Competitive Analysis

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Multicore Processors Accelerating Network Virtualization: A Competitive Analysis
Published: February 14, 2018 Content info: 69 Pages
Description

Multicore processors are more important than ever in networking systems due to the shift to virtualized networks using software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). Virtual network functions (VNFs) may be running on servers in the data center, on network appliances platforms at the edge of the network or on universal CPE (uCPE) systems at the customer premises. 2017 saw the introduction of many new multicore processor architectures and product families for both networking and data center applications. A key challenge for equipment manufacturers and service providers is picking the right solution for both server performance and network bandwidth.

Service providers have new opportunities to deliver cloud-based applications and services. Cloud service providers such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft have dominated architectural developments for hyperscale data centers and are offering cost-effective services that challenge conventional telecom approaches. Communications service providers (CSPs) are running to catch up by replacing conventional telecom equipment with virtualized functions running on servers in large data centers, telecom central office locations or within the customer premises. Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and virtualized CPE (vCPE) are leading examples of virtualized CSP services already widely deployed.

CSPs are using a mix of standard server platforms and carrier-grade server platforms such as the Radisys DCEngine. These platforms use general-purpose processors that are optimized for server applications with separate chipsets for networking I/O. The latest processors are implemented in 14/10 nm technology and integrate up to 48 high-performance cores. Intel has dominated this market with its Xeon E5 processors and has significantly improved processor performance for virtualized networking applications with the introduction of the Intel Xeon Scalable Processors. At the same time, AMD has re-entered this market with the EPYC series processors based on the new Zen core, and Qualcomm is shipping the ARM-based Centriq processor family. All three companies are planning future multicore processors using 7 nm technology.

Integrated multicore processors have multiple processing cores, network interfaces and hardware accelerators for security, packet processing and network virtualization handling up to 100 Gbit/s. These processors are particularly useful for the virtualized network edge and other applications where systems must provide an optimal mix of packet processing and server performance. These processors are being used in network appliance platforms, uCPE, smart network interface cards (NICs) and other network systems. Integrated multicore processors with 8-72 embedded cores and dedicated hardware accelerators are being used in appliance platforms and virtualized edge applications. The excerpt below shows a typical fourth-generation integrated multicore processor.

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Multicore Processors Accelerating Network Virtualization: A Competitive Analysis surveys high-performance multicore processors for virtualized networking and other networking applications. The report also reviews the strategy, product mix and product architectures of multicore processor, intellectual property (IP) and software vendors. As such, the report not only provides granular information on the components themselves - of interest to chip manufacturers and purchasers - but also provides insights into how the overall market for multicore processors is likely to develop - of interest to a wide audience, including carriers and investors.

This report covers 17 vendors, and uses information and product documentation supplied by these vendors. Interviews with most of the vendors covered were conducted during the second half of 2017. The report contains detailed information on almost 90 devices or groups of devices. The tables presented in the report were compiled using data provided during these interviews and from product documentation. Once the tables were compiled, the relevant data was provided to all the vendors for confirmation, feedback and updating.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • 1.1 Key Findings
  • 1.2 Companies Covered

2. APPLICATIONS & ARCHITECTURES

  • 2.1 General-Purpose Multicore Processor Architectures
  • 2.2 Integrated Multicore Processor Architectures
  • 2.3 Multicore IP
  • 2.4 Multicore Software

3. GENERAL-PURPOSE MULTICORE PROCESSORS

  • 3.1 Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD)
  • 3.2 IBM Corp.
  • 3.3 Intel Corp.
  • 3.4 Oracle Corp.
  • 3.5 Qualcomm Inc.

4. INTEGRATED MULTICORE PROCESSORS

  • 4.1 Leading Multicore Processors in Production
  • 4.2 Latest Integrated Multicore Processors
  • 4.3 Broadcom Ltd.
  • 4.4 Cavium Inc.
  • 4.5 Intel Corp.
  • 4.6 Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
  • 4.7 Mellanox Technologies Ltd.
  • 4.8 NXP Semiconductors N.V.
  • 4.9 Project Denver Holdings LLC

5. CONCLUSIONS

APPENDIX A: GENERAL-PURPOSE MULTICORE PROCESSORS

APPENDIX B: INTEGRATED MULTICORE PROCESSORS

TERMS OF USE

LIST OF FIGURES

  • Figure 1: OCP CG-OpenRack-19 Compute Sled
  • Figure 2: Rackmount Network Appliance Platform
  • Figure 3: Universal CPE (uCPE)
  • Figure 4: Typical General-Purpose Chipset
  • Figure 5: Typical Fourth-Generation Multicore Processor
  • Figure 6: ARM Cortex-A72 64-bit Processor Core
  • Figure 7: ARM CoreLink System IP
  • Figure 8: MIPS I6400 Processor IP Core
  • Figure 9: MIPS I6500 Cluster Foundation
  • Figure 10: 6WINDGate in NFV
  • Figure 11: Enea OSE Architecture
  • Figure 12: Wind River Intelligent Network Platform (INP)
  • Figure 13: AMD EPYC 7000 Series Block Diagram
  • Figure 14: AMD EPYC 7000 Series Processors
  • Figure 15: AMD Opteron Multicore Processors Key Parameters
  • Figure 16: AMD Opteron A1100
  • Figure 17: IBM Dual-Socket Power9 Processor Block Diagram
  • Figure 18: IBM Power Processors Key Parameters
  • Figure 19: Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600 v4 With Intel C612 Chipset
  • Figure 20: Intel Xeon Scalable Processor - Typical 2S Configuration
  • Figure 21: Intel Xeon Processors Key Parameters
  • Figure 22: Intel Xeon Multicore Processors
  • Figure 23: Oracle SPARC Processors
  • Figure 24: Qualcomm Centriq 2400 Processor
  • Figure 25: Centriq 2400 Series Key Parameters
  • Figure 26: Qualcomm Centriq 2400 Series Processors
  • Figure 27: Leading High-Performance Multicore Processors in Production
  • Figure 28: Latest Integrated Multicore Processors
  • Figure 29: Broadcom XLP900 Multicore Processor
  • Figure 30: Broadcom XLP II Multicore Processors
  • Figure 31: Broadcom BCM58800 Processor/Controller
  • Figure 32: Broadcom StrataGX Processors
  • Figure 33: Broadcom Multicore Processor Key Parameters
  • Figure 34: Cavium CN7xxx Octeon III Processor Family
  • Figure 35: Cavium ThunderX Multicore Processor
  • Figure 36: Cavium Octeon TX Multicore Processor
  • Figure 37: Cavium Multicore Key Parameters
  • Figure 38: Cavium Octeon Multicore Processors Summary
  • Figure 39: Intel Xeon D Multicore Processors
  • Figure 40: Intel Xeon D Processors Key Parameters
  • Figure 41: Marvell ARMADA 8040 Multicore Processor
  • Figure 42: Marvell ARMADA 7K & 8K Multicore Processors
  • Figure 43: Mellanox TILE-Gx72 Multicore Processor
  • Figure 44: Mellanox BlueField Multicore System on Chip
  • Figure 45: Mellanox Multicore Processor Key Parameters
  • Figure 46: NXP QorIQ AMP Series T4240 Multicore Processor
  • Figure 47: NXP AMP Multicore Processors Summary
  • Figure 48: NXP AMP Multicore Processors Interfaces
  • Figure 49: NXP QorIQ LS2085 Processor
  • Figure 50: NXP QorIQ LS Multicore Processors Summary
  • Figure 51: NXP QorIQ LS Multicore Processors Interfaces
  • Figure 52: NXP QorIQ LX2160A Processor
  • Figure 53: NXP QorIQ LX Multicore Processors
  • Figure 54: NXP QorIQ Multicore Processor Architectures
  • Figure 55: Project Denver X-Gene 3 Platform
  • Figure 56: Project Denver X-Gene Key Parameters
  • Figure A1: General-Purpose Multicore Processor Summary
  • Figure A2: General-Purpose Multicore Processor I/O
  • Figure B1: Integrated Multicore Processor Summary (>10 Gbit/s)
  • Figure B2: Integrated Multicore Processor Features

MULTICORE PROCESSOR VENDORS COVERED (17)

  • 6WIND S.A.
  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD)
  • ARM Ltd. (a wholly owned subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp.)
  • Broadcom Ltd. (Nasdaq: AVGO)
  • Cavium Inc. (Nasdaq: CAVM)
  • Enea AB (Nasdaq: ENEA)
  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
  • Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE: IMG)
  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)
  • Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL)
  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX)
  • NXP Semiconductors N.V. (Nasdaq: NXPI)
  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)
  • Project Denver Holdings LLC
  • Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)
  • Tallwood MIPS Inc.
  • Wind River Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)
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