Today Gigabyte released a new storage server based on the Annapurna ARM SoC. The Gigabyte D120-S3G is based on the Annapurna Alpine AL5140 quad-core 1.7GHz processor which provides a low power controller for up to 16 3.5″ disks in a 1U platform. The Annapurna Labs Alpine AL5140 is focused on a storage server platform.
High density 1U servers have become extremely popular in the last few years offering to have high density storage with low power processors providing basic storage management features. It is little secret that the basic NAS platform requires very little processing power unless there are higher-end features enabled. For getting massive amounts of storage online in a minimal footprint, these density optimized 1U servers have become extremely popular in a number of applications.
Gigabyte D120-S3G Specs
- Annapurna Alpine AL5140 quad-core 1.7GHz processor (ARM Cortex-A15)
- 1 x ECC DIMM slot
- 16 x 2.5″/3.5″ HDD/SSD slots, up to 100TB
- Supports SATA III 6Gb/s connections
- 2 x 10GbE SFP+ LAN ports (integrated)
- 2 x GbE LAN ports (Atheros® AR8035)
- 1 x 400W 80 PLUS Gold 100~240V AC PSU
One can see that the motherboard features 16x SATA ports as well as a small form factor and is very customized for this application allowing more hard drives to be packed into the 1U chassis.
Here is a bit more information from the Gigabyte D120-S3G Press Release:
Annapurna Labs Alpine AL5140 Processor
The D120-S3G is powered by the Annapurna Labs Alpine AL5140 1.7GHz Quad-Core processor, based on the ARMv7 architecture and the Cortex-A15 core. This chip has a power consumption of only 10 watts, which provides one of the highest performance per watt storage controller.
Built-in Hardware Data Protection
Equipped with a dedicated hardware RAID and Erasure Code engine supporting RAID 5/6 levels protection, it forwards error correction from drive failures and thus spares CPU cycles from doing parity calculations or interfacing with the hard drives.
An Optimized Solution Designed for Linux Environment
Using standard ARM Cortex-A15 cores ensures the compatibility with available software. The D120-S3G offers support for standard, Long Term Support (LTS) Linux Kernel 3.10 and Ubuntu 14.04. With over 1,000 Open Source software developing applications on ARM, the application ecosystem is mature and is able to support a wide range of applications for the enterprise.