The Qualcomm Thread

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Dr. AMK, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm Ships First 48-Core Centriq 2400 Server Chips To Take On Intel In The Data Center

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    Today, Qualcomm officially announced that it has begun shipping its Centriq 2400 server processors to its OEM partners. This marks a big step for Qualcomm, which is no stranger to the mobile market with its Snapdragon processors, but is a lesser known quantity in the server market. Intel's Xeon processors have already seen a credible challenge in the form of AMD's Zen-based EPYC family, and Centriq promises to be a low-power, high-density alternative that can run with the big dogs in the cloud infrastructure market.

    Qualcomm first began talking up its Centriq family around this time last year. At the time, the company was sampling the processors, which are built on a Samsung 10-nanometer manufacturing process. Qualcomm worked with Samsung on this 10nm FinFET process, which is also used for the incredibly poplar Snapdragon 835 consumer-centric SoC for handsets.

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    "Samsung's 10-nm process technology with specific optimizations for high performance, combined with Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies' leading-edge custom SoC design, allow us to deliver a world-class server processor that will disrupt the datacenter market," said ES Jung, president and general manager, Foundry Business, Samsung Electronics.

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    Getting down to brass tacks, the Centriq 2400 family contains a total of 18 billion transistors occupying a die that measures 398mm2. The Centriq 2400 is available in three configurations featuring 40, 46 or 48 cores. Clock frequencies for these processors range from 2.3GHz/2.5GHz (base/max) for the Centriq 2434 to 2.2Hz/2.6GHz for the range-topping Centriq 2460.

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    Each of those cores are connected by a bi-directional segmented ring bus that is capable of delivering 250GBps of aggregate bandwidth. For every pair of Qualcomm Falkor cores within a Centriq processor, there is 512KB of shared L2 cache. In addition, there is up to 60MB of shared L3 cache available to all cores. The cores are highly tuned, custom implementations of the ARMv8 64-bit architecture.


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    There's a 6-channel DDR4 memory controller than supports up to 768GB of memory, while you're find support for 32 PCIe Gen3 lanes and 6 PCIe controllers. Given that the Centriq 2400 family is built using ARM architecture, Qualcomm is playing up power efficiency as a key advantage over its rivals from Intel and AMD. In this case, Centriq processor have a maximum TDP "well below" 120 Watts.

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    Although we'd love to be able to give you actual real-life benchmarks numbers comparing the Centriq 2400 family to its counterparts, Qualcomm isn't quite ready to provide those numbers at this time. Instead, it says that the 48-core Centriq 2460 offers a 4x uplift in performance-per-dollar and a 45 percent performance-per-watt improvement over Intel’s Xeon Platinum 8180. Those are some pretty bold performance/cost/efficiency claims that we'll definitely want to see played out in the real world.


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    Qualcomm is hoping to make a splash with the Centriq 2400 family and it has lined up the following partners to showcase the power of the platform: Alibaba, American Megatrends Inc., Arm, Cadence Design Systems, Canonical, Chelsio Communications, Cloudflare, Excelero, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Illumina, LinkedIn, MariaDB, Mellanox, Microsoft Azure, MongoDB, Netronome, Packet, Red Hat, ScyllaDB, 6WIND, Samsung, Solarflare, Smartcore, SUSE, Uber, and Xilinx.

    The 40-core Centriq 2434, 46-core Centriq 2453, and 48-core Centriq 2460 are priced at $888, $1,383 and $1,995 respectively. Considering that Intel's Xeon Platinum 8180 has an MSRP of $10,009, we have no doubt that Qualcomm will find more than a few companies that are willing to take a chance and kick the tires of its new server processors, if real world performance matches what the company is putting down on paper today. This ought to be interesting to watch unfold in the months ahead as Qualcomm powered servers are deployed in market.


     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  2. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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  3. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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  4. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    We didn't see Qualcomm coming :), that's why Broadcom wants to acquisition Qualcomm ($137 billion o_O) and it will benefit Apple in this case at the end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  5. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) BAKED BEAN KING

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    Nice, Competition is always good, 48-cores at 10nm.

    Keep up the good work Dr AMK.

    John.
     
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  6. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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  7. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Qualcomm Launches The First 10nm Server Chip
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontilley/2016/12/07/qualcomm-launches-the-first-10nm-server-chip/#1f1150c42119

    Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm is making its next big move in its uphill battle with Intel in the data center market.

    On Wednesday, the San Diego, Calif.-based company announced its second-generation server chip built on the most advanced chip manufacturing process at 10 nanometers. The chip, called the Centriq 2400, will contain 48 ARM-based cores. Qualcomm is calling its custom ARM processors Falkor.

    Qualcomm said it's already sampling the new chips out to data center giants now.

    Qualcomm announced its first server chip last year with a “Server Development Platform” for data center players to start trying out Qualcomm technology and seeing how well it performs.

    Last month, Qualcomm said its next generation mobile processor, the Snapdragon 835, would also be built on the 10nm process node. The mobile chip will be built by Samsung (Qualcomm wouldn't say yet who is building its server chip).

    “The leading edge process node has been historically driven by the PC,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's datacenter business. “That has been shifting.”

    For years, the volumes PCs were selling at resulted in the most advanced processing chips in that market. Now that smartphone volumes have taken over in the tech industry, phones are benefitting from getting access the most advanced chip manufacturing technology, said Chandrasekher. "We've seen the shift from PC leadership on the process node to mobile leadership," he said.

    Chandrasekher said Qualcomm is benefitting from the shifting emphasis in chip manufacturing capabilities to mobile. It's able to take what it has learned building mobile processors and use it in the data center.

    It's early days for Qualcomm's data center ambitions, and it faces a tremendous uphill battle. Intel currently owns upwards of 90% of the market for data center processors, and it's certainly not going to cede territory to a competitor easily.

    Qualcomm's processors are based on chip designs from ARM, a SoftBank-owned company that licenses out chip designs that have dominated the mobile market over the past decade. Lots of players in the past have tried to break Intel's dominance with ARM-based chips, but none have made it very far.

    Qualcomm is seeking for growth outside of its core mobile business as that market matures. Cars are one major area Qualcomm is looking for future growth -- it recently acquired chipmaker NXP, which has a large existing business in chips for cars, in one of the biggest semiconductor deals ever for $47 billion. But it's going to take many years for the data center bet to pay off.

    “We’re committed to it,” said Chandrasekher. “The investment to get to this stage has been significant. This is going to take some time to bring home.”
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    Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's datacenter business, holding the server chip (Photo credit: Qualcomm)


     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  8. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I am hoping this year Intel's profit will be lower and competitors will benefit and make most out of this opportunity.
     
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  9. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    This is the logic, but this kind of companies has its own logic, you can't be sure.
     
  10. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK Living with Hope

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    Foundry Giant TSMC Breaks Ground On 5nm Chip Fab With 2020 Production Target
    TSMC has broken ground on a new 5nm fab that will be used to produce the world's first 5-nanometer chips starting in 2020. TSMC builds chips for numerous manufacturers, including NVIDIA, Qualcomm and many others. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile chips coming this year are built on the TSMC 7nm technology. With TSMC promising the first chips using its new 5nm tech in 2020, that would likely mean we can expect the first 5nm chips from fabless semiconductor partners like Qualcomm and others, roughly in that same time frame.
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    The groundbreaking ceremony was held in Taiwan and the facility will reportedly be the largest manufacturing site for TSMC when completed. TSMC also expects that the capital investment will help it to extend the technological lead over its competition, including Samsung Electronics Co. Other than building chips for Qualcomm, TSMC also makes chips for Apple iPhones and currently holds 56% of the global semiconductor foundry market. TSMC tracks Moore's law more closely than others, and the company says that the new investment shows it continues to move to the next technology node every two years.


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    "About seven or eight years ago, many global semiconductor companies stopped pushing forward their technologies. As of today, only three companies in the world continue to move forward with advanced technologies: TSMC is one of them," TSMC chairman Morris Chang said at the ceremony.

    "This facility, called Fab 18, is to start volume production of 5-nanometer [chips] in two years. I have high expectations that this will be the world’s first 5-nanometer [chip plant]," Chang said. "Next comes 3-nanometer [technology]. We are confident that we will be able to produce 3-nanometer [chips] in three to four years."

    TSMC plans to use half of the space in Fab 18 to build 3-nm production lines. Fab 18 will be built in the Southern Taiwan Science Park, TSMC also has Fab 14 in the same science park, that fab builds 10nm and 16nm chips. Chang also noted that TSMC traditionally has a 15-20% ratio of return on invested capital. With those numbers, the company could recover the NT$500 billion investment in five years and generate NT$1.5 trillion in revenue over that same period. The NT$500 billion investment will also be paired with NT$200 billion in R&D spending for a total investment of NT$700 billion in 5nm process technology.

     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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