Mobile World Congress is one of those shows where several of the most important technologies and trends converge, including SDN, NFV, data centers and cloud computing, as well as all things wireless. As such, it was a perfect opportunity for several chip vendors to announce new products or systems and present evidence that their products or systems are gaining support.
The market for processors can be divided into two general camps, one with roots in the computer segment where the major focus has been processing power, and the other that sprung up around mobile communications, where low power consumption is critical. The former segment has tended to favor products based on Intel's powerful x86 architecture, while the latter typically prefers power-saving ARM-based products.
Many applications in the newest developing markets -- especially cloud and data center -- require the best of both worlds: processing power and low energy consumption.
Several chip and component vendors made announcements at MWC to demonstrate their ability to enable top-notch data center/cloud performance.
Kontron AG and Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (Nasdaq: AMCC) have combined the former's SymKloud converged infrastructure platform with the latter's 10GigE modular server designed with two of the latter's X-Gene system-on-chip (SoC) processors based on the 64-bit ARM v8-A architecture, which the two handily note is "widely known for its server-class performance and mobile-level power efficiency." The combination is designed explicitly to support operator services delivered on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment supporting SDN and NFV capabilities.
Want to know more about communications ICs? Check out our comms chips channel here on Light Reading.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) announced a set of software development partners are working with its 32-bit and 64-bit Armada SoCs, representing a growing ecosystem supporting a variety of applications, including home automation, embedded computing, open source systems in general, and wireline and wireless network equipment in particular, including routers, gateways, servers and other products. Partners include Aricent, Avnet Memec - Silica, DENX, Enea, Free Electrons, Globalscale Technologies, Lauterbach, Media5, MontaVista, O.S. Systems, Sartura, Semihalf, SolidRun, StreamUnlimited, SUSE, Timesys, Trend Micro, Volansys and Wind River.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX) announced what they called an extended partnership. HPE is working with Mellanox to optimize the latter's ConnectX-4 Lx series of Ethernet adapters on its Intel-based servers. Mellanox said that in its own NFV benchmarking facility, its adapters coupled with its own DPDK poll mode driver (PMD) has demonstrated near line rate packet processing performance of 33 million packets per second per 25Gb/s port, with zero packet loss, running in HPE's ProLiant series of server platforms.
Mellanox noted that communications service providers (CSPs) are moving NFV from concept to deployment, and are expected to favor 25G Ethernet to ensure enough throughput to guarantee adequate quality of service.
Separately, Mellanox joined the Elevate Technology Alliance Program led by enterprise cloud specialist Nutanix Inc. . Mellanox said its SX1012 top of rack 10/40 Gbit/s Ethernet switch has been validated as Nutanix Ready for Networking.