Data center workloads create demand for enhanced processors at the edge
Dutch semiconductor manufacturer NXP unveiled a new System-on-Chip (SoC) solution, dubbed LX2160A, which moves data center workloads to the edge. The solution, a member of the Layerscape family, combines 64-bit Arm CPUs, Ethernet and PCI interfaces, and network accelerators from other processors, according to the company.
Multi-access edge computing (MEC) is a network architecture that provides IT and cloud-computing capabilities at the edge of a network. The purpose of MEC is to decrease network congestion and boost application performance by pushing processing tasks closer to the end user. Consequently, many service providers are moving workloads from the cloud the edge, which is increasing demands for more advanced processors.
“Edge processing will drive the next phase of networking, computing and IoT infrastructure growth,” said Tareq Bustami, senior vice president and general manager at NXP Semiconductors. “As workloads move from the cloud to the edge they benefit from reduced latencies, greater security and improved resiliency. The performance and the bandwidth integrated into the LX2160A provides an ideal platform for a variety of networking, data analytics and data processing workloads.”
The LX2160A is able to offload data center workloads in the cloud to the edge, running network applications at base stations. In particular, LX2160A includes 16 Arm Cortex-A72 cores running over 2 GHz at 30-watt power envelope, supporting both the 100 Gbit/s Ethernet and PCIe Gen4 interconnect standards, according to the company. Cortex-A72 is a processor designed to boost the performance and efficiency of edge compute devices. The LX2160A provides L2 switching in addition to data compression and 50 Gbit/s IPSec cryptography.
“Network service providers, cloud companies, and industrial IoT companies are developing edge computing, drawn to the technology’s ability to deliver cloud-computing services at lower latency and with greater privacy, while consuming less WAN bandwidth,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst with The Linley Group. “Integrating 16 cores and 100 Gbit/s Ethernet, NXP’s Layerscape LX2160A processor helps the Arm ecosystem meet the requirement of high-performance edge-computing applications.”
NXP has been attempting to move virtualization to the network edge with its Arm Cortex system solution. Last June, for instance, the company introduced its NXP’s QorIQ NFV platform in an effort to extend virtualization beyond data centers, leveraging the industry’s portfolio of 64-bit ARM v8-based LS-series processors. NXP’s software ecosystem supports standard APIs for virtualization and NFV, capable of running SDN, NFV and open-source software like Open Daylight, OpenStack and OP-NFV.
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