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A Guide to Multicore Processors

Fourth Edition

To be Published August 2017
Order by August 30 and save $300

Authors: Jag Bolaria and Tom R. Halfhill

Single License: $4,495 (single copy, one user)
Corporate License: $5,995

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"A Guide to Multicore Processors" (4th Edition) provides an in-depth look at 32- and 64-bit high-speed embedded processors with four or more CPU cores. This completely revised report from The Linley Group contains 190+ pages of information on high-end processors from AMD, Baikal, Broadcom, Cavium, Intel, Kalray, Macom (AppliedMicro), Mellanox (Tilera/EZchip), and NXP.

The report focuses on general-purpose RISC and x86 processors that have four or more CPU cores running at 1.0GHz or more, excluding specialized architectures (e.g. DSPs, NPUs). This report covers processors for embedded applications, focusing on networking, communications, storage, and security; it excludes multicore products designed for servers or for mobile devices. (We cover these processors, as well as embedded processors with four or fewer CPU cores, in other reports.)

"A Guide to Multicore Processors" has detailed coverage of AMD's Opteron family; Broadcom's XLP II and Stingray family; Cavium's Octeon TX and Octeon III families; Intel's embedded Xeon and Xeon-D lines; Kalray’s Bostan and Coolidge processor, Macom's Helix family; Mellanox's BlueField family; and NXP's QorIQ LS1 series, LS2 series, and T4 series.

This handy guide, packed with valuable information, brings you up-to-date on the newest developments in this important market and gives you the analysis you need to help choose a supplier or partner. The report also provides market-share and market-size data for the embedded and multicore markets.

"A Guide to Multicore Processors" begins with tutorials on the key technologies implemented by these products, background on the embedded market, and a discussion of the newest technology and market trends. Following these introductory chapters, the report delivers thorough coverage of all announced products in this area. For each major vendor, the report examines the performance, features, and architecture of each product, highlighting strengths and weaknesses in a consistent, easy-to-compare fashion. The report concludes with our own comparisons of these products and conclusions about which will fare best.

What's New in This Edition

Since publishing the previous edition of this report in 2016, we have updated the coverage to include many new announcements, including:

  • Broadcom’s Stingray Products
  • Cavium's ARMv8-compatible Octeon TX processors
  • NXP's newest ARM-based LS1- and LS2-series processors
  • Intel's new Xeon (Skylake) processors and Xeon D processors
  • Mellanox's new ARM-based BlueField processors
  • Final 2016 market size and vendor share
  • Embedded-processor forecasts to 2021
List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Processor Technology
Processor Basics
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
MMUs and TLBs
Bus Bandwidth
CPU Microarchitecture
Scalar and Superscalar
Instruction Reordering
Pipelining and Penalties
Branch Prediction
Multicore Processors
Main Memory
DRAM Basics
DDR Versions
Memory Subsystems
I/O and Network Interfaces
Ethernet Interfaces
PCI and PCI Express
2 Multicore Applications
Networking and Communications Equipment
Control Plane vs. Data Plane
Control-Plane Processing
Data-Plane Applications
Services Cards
Networked Storage and RAID Controllers
Broadband Infrastructure
Cellular Base Stations
Common Form Factors
3 Standard Instruction Sets
Architecture Comparison
Market Positions
x86 Instruction Set
Initial Instruction Set
Modern Extensions
ARM Instruction Set
Initial Instruction Set
Later Extensions
ARMv8 Architecture
Scalable Vector Extensions
ARM Cortex-A57
ARM Cortex-A53
ARM Cortex-A72
MIPS Instruction Set
Initial Instruction Set
Later Extensions
PowerPC Instruction Set
Instruction Set
4 Multicore Processors
What Is an Embedded Multicore Processor?
What Is Not an Embedded Multicore Processor
Common Characteristics
Standalone vs. Integrated Processors
Multicore Processors
Encryption Engines
RAID and Other Storage Engines
Packet-Processing Accelerators
Acceleration Software
The Data-Plane Development Kit
The OpenDataPlane API
Benchmark Software
CPU Benchmarks
Security Performance
5 Technology and Market Trends
Technology Trends
Integration Trends
CPU Complexity Tradeoffs
Memory Access
Market Overview
Market Size by Vendor
Revenue Market Share by Instruction-Set Architecture
Market Forecast by Segment
Multicore-Market Forecast
6 Broadcom
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
7 Cavium
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Octeon III CN78xx and CN77xx Series
Octeon III CN73xx and 72xx Series
Octeon TX Processors
Internal Architecture
Octeon III CPU
Custom MIPS64 Extensions
Octeon III Caches
Octeon III Accelerators
Octeon TX Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
8 Intel
Company Background
Product Overview
Key Features and Performance
Xeon Scalable Processors (Skylake)
Xeon E5v4 Processors (Broadwell)
Xeon D Processors (Broadwell)
Internal Architecture
System Design
Xeon System Design
Xeon D System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
9 Macon (AppliedMicro)
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
Potenza CPU
System Design
Product Roadmap
10 Mellanox (EZchip/Tilera)
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Bluefield Family
Internal Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
11 NXP
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
QorIQ LS1-Series Processors
QorIQ LS2-Series Processors
QorIQ T4-Series Processors
Internal Architecture
Power e6500 CPU
Acceleration Engines
Quicc Engine
QorIQ Packet-Processing Acceleration (DPAA)
DPAA2 Packet Acceleration
QorIQ Layerscape Secure Platform
System Design
System Interfaces
Application Examples
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
12 Other Vendors
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Design Details
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
13 Processor Comparisons
Sub-30W Processors
30-50W Processors
50-100W Processors
Processors Consuming More Than 100W
14 Conclusions
Appendix: Further Reading


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