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Friday, January 29, 2016

ARM-based server-on-a-chip at heart of key European IoT project

By Nick Flaherty

The X-Gene server-on-a-chip from Applied Micro Circuits has been chosen as the exclusive server platform that will be used to develop UniServer, a universal system architecture and software ecosystem for micro-servers. 
The project starts next month and will develop technology that will be ported onto the X-Gene chip and evaluated using smart emerging applications deployed in both classic cloud business data-centers and in newer environments closer to the data sources. The 3-year, 4.8M project is funded by the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program in the European Union and includes ARM and IBM
A custom variant of the ARM instruction set, X-Gene was selected for its ability to serve both data-centre infrastructures, as well as small scale centres. As part of the project, AppliedMicro will develop custom-made platforms based on X-Gene that address the complexities associated with Big Data and IoT applications. The data-center-in-a-box will include a number of key features including extensive debug capabilities, explicit support for voltage setting and pre-core frequency scaling, error monitoring, advanced DRAM capabilities and performance counters.
“The goal of UniServer is to improve the energy efficiency, performance, dependability and security of current state-of-the-art micro-servers and AppliedMicro quickly emerged as the platform of choice for this research after an extensive market search,” said Dr. Georgios Karakonstantis, project coordinator and scientific director, UniServer. “With two generations of its X-Gene technology already in production and the third generation sampling later this year, AppliedMicro offers one of the most competitive processors on the market for data center and scale-out environments bringing to UniServer a range of advanced and unique capabilities .”
“AppliedMicro is excited to be a member of the UniServer Consortium to bring a cohesive server platform to the European Union,” said Paramesh Gopi, president and CEO of AppliedMicro. “The pervasiveness and proven ability of the X-Gene platform complements the goal of the UniServer project to improve the performance of servers that run internet and cloud-based services, while also reducing design, implementation costs and power consumption.”
AppliedMicro is joined in the UniServer consortium by partners covering a wide range of scientific, research and engineering expertise, including The Queen’s University of Belfast, University of Athens, Thessaly and Cyprus, Worldsensing, Meritorius and Sparsity. 

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