If you want to cram up to 80 Arm Neoverse cores into a surprisingly compact workstation, Adlink has you covered with a novel design that packs an incredible amount of compute and memory onto a small carrier board. The board then slots into a larger motherboard that fits inside standard E-ATX computer cases.
The company has introduced one of the industry's first COM-HPC Server Type Size E Modules, using Ampere's Altra chip to build miniature systems with up to 80 Arm v8.2 64-bit cores. The platform is compliant with the COM-HPC standard and is intended for workstation, server and edge applications that require significant compute capabilities and low power consumption.
Adlink's COM-HPC Ampere Altra Server Type Size E Module houses between 32 and 80 Arm Neoverse N1 cores, six memory channels supporting up to 768 GB of DDR4-3200 memory (using six DIMMs), and 64 PCIe 4.0 lanes.
The Ampere Altra Q80-28 SoC with 80 cores runs at 2.80 GHz and consumes around 175 Watts. Despite all that, the carrier board measures a diminutive 200×160 mm (7.87 x 6.3 inches), exhibiting spectacular compute density. You can then slot that carrier board into a larger motherboard that can fit inside E-ATX cases to create the Ava development system, as you can see in the picture and video below.
Adlink positions its Altra-based Server Module for workstations and 'inexpensive' edge applications that require low maintenance costs. The board has rather decent connectivity features (which can be further expanded using PCIe devices), such as four 10GbE ports, one GbE connector for remote management, and four USB 3.0 ports. The motherboard is also ready to install standard AArch64 Ubuntu 20.04 as well as Yocto Linux operating systems.
“By teaming up with Ampere and Arm and using their Arm Neoverse N1-based Ampere Altra SoC, our high performance-per-watt COM-HPC Ampere Altra architecture allows our strategic partners and customers to process data intensive workloads at the edge without worrying about big upfront investments, hardware overheating, or ongoing maintenance costs,” says Alex Wang, Adlink’s product manager of embedded boards and modules.
In addition to the COM-HPC Ampere Altra module, Adlink has also released its COM-HPC Ampere Altra prototype system that is designed primarily for software developers interested in building products for Arm-based servers. The company hasn't shared pricing or availability information yet, but we'll update as more information becomes available.