With Computex 2020 canceled, companies are trying to come up with ways to get their message out. At the Gigabyte Virtual Show 2020, the company has a few interesting products in their showcase and we wanted to highlight two of them. First, Gigabyte has the first (that we have seen) announced Marvell ThunderX3 server.
Gigabyte Marvell ThunderX3 Server
Marvell ThunderX3 is the company’s next-gen server CPU. You may have seen Patrick, our editor-in-chief, speak at the Cavium ThunderX2 launch that went live with our review. We also were early to the Arm server space with one of the first reviews of the original Cavium ThunderX. A few month ago, we had an update on the Marvell ThunderX3 without specifics. It seems that Gigabyte is showing off its next-gen ThunderX3 server already.
Here are the key specs that Marvell has disclosed:
From the video, we can see that the new Gigabyte R282 servers (2U) have a proprietary motherboard with LGA4564 which means we can expect a dramatically larger pin footprint to accompany more I/O.
The Gigabyte R282 platform is using a proprietary motherboard. Our sense is that it is designed for not just this 2U form factor but also 1U-4U servers as well depending on the add-in card configuration. Gigabyte is also showing off NVIDIA V100 support. This is a big push by NVIDIA and Arm as we saw in NVIDIA CUDA on Arm Becoming a Reality.
Since we have tested Gigabyte servers in both the ThunderX and ThunderX2 generations, we hope to get to check out the ThunderX3 variants soon. Gigabyte currently has other R282 servers such as those that are AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” based, and we saw an Ampere-based server that looked like it was based on a similar platform. As a result, it seems as though Gigabyte is trying to use a common chassis or similar chassis with different architectures to build a larger product line. This is the ThunderX3 offering in that line.
With this solution, Gigabyte and Marvell are targeting HPC and cloud computing industries. There are other Arm server vendors such as Ampere focused on cloud-first Arm chips. Gigabyte is very open exploring new server architectures which is why it has a robust AMD EPYC line as well as a line of Ampere Altra servers we saw in Action at Ampere HQ pre-lockdown.
We still have several months until the next x86 server platform launch. In the meantime, expect Gigabyte with its partners such as Marvell to turn up their efforts marketing their new cloud servers. Intel’s 10nm delays have opened the door to a host of new competitors that have AMD EPYC Rome-like features such as 8-channel DDR4-3200 and PCIe Gen4 well before Intel will release Ice Lake Xeon platforms.
A big part of Gigabyte’s server strategy is embracing new and diversified architectures. That is part of the reason they have their virtual event online. Their goal is to provide access to Gigabyte staff as one would at the Computex trade show. Given travel and trade show challenges this year, Gigabyte is using the online format.