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Marvell Unleashes Quad Core Armada XP ARM SoC

Marvell has unveiled today a new platform consisting of a quad-core ARM-based system on chip, called the Armada XP and build using their own ARMv7 MP core, based on the Cortex A9 and clocked at 1.6GHz.

The company expects the SoC to be used in a number of systems ranging from low power web servers, smarter routers, network attached storage devices and media servers which are growing in popularity.

The Armada XP comes with 2MB L2 cache (shared amongst the four cores) and delivers up to 16600 Dhrystone MIPS (that's roughly 2.93 DMIPS/MHz.Core) while using a mere 10w; it integrates four PCI express links and 16 high speed Marvell SERDES lanes with multi functionality.

Marvell claims that the Armada XP is the fastest ARM processor on the market today for enterprise class applications although others like Qualcomm and Samsung may well dispute this.

The SoC was unveiled one day before the ARM Technology Conference and Marvel launched a triple core application processor running at 1.5GHz back in September.

Unlike Qualcomm's Snapdragon and Samsung's Hummingbird, Marvell's hardware solutions haven't attracted a lot of attention; the RIM Blackberry Playbook is perhaps the most well known product that uses Marvell products.

The other venture they tried to push is a platform called SheevaPlug which is essentially a computer the size of an adaptor with a 1.2GHz ARM-based Sheeva SoC, 512MB memory, 512MB ROM, a GbE port and a USB port.