In the news

  • An interview with Gopal Hegde of Marvell (HPCwire)
  • Arm N1 system development platform (SDP) (Xilinx, Cadence)
  • Why NVidia Bought Mellanox (HPCWire)
  • 96Boards: OpenHours with Carl Perry on the DUC
  • k3s cluster running OpenFaaS (Alex Ellis)
  • Windows 10 on Arm via KVM (The Register)
  • Seco SBC-C43: powered by NXP’s most powerful i.MX 8 processor (CNXSoft)
  • BalenaFin unboxing (CNXSoft)
  • Steer case for Raspberry Pi (Rancher)

An interview with Gopal Hegde of Marvell (HPCwire)

HPCwire talks to Gopal Hegde, head of Marvell’s Server Processor Business Unit, identifying him as a “Person to Watch”. He talks about the ThunderX2 processor, partnerships between Marvell and a variety of leading players in the HPC market from OEMs like Cray to OS providers like RedHat, SuSE, and Canonical, and plans for the future that include high-performance vector processing using Arm’s SVE (Scalable Vector Extensions).

Arm N1 system development platform (SDP) (Xilinx, Cadence)

Arm, Xilinx, and Cadence have combined to bring about the Arm N1 System Development Platform (SDP). This device features the latest Arm N1 silicon on a 7 nm process and uses a new CCIX chip-to-chip interconnect architecture to interface to devices like Xilinx’s Alveo FPGA accelerator card.

Why NVidia Bought Mellanox (HPCWire)

NVidia and Mellanox have reached an agreement under which NVidia will acquire Mellanox for approximately $6.9 billion. Both companies have strengths in the HPC (“high performance computing”) market, with NVidia providing GPU expertise and Mellanox a leader in high performance networking. The world’s two fastest supercomputers, Sierra and Summit, use both NVidia and Mellanox gear.

HPCwire looks at the industry response to the corporate combination from the point of view of HPC vendors, noting that the combination brings “advancing high-bandwidth connections for accelerated systems”.

96Boards: OpenHours with Carl Perry on the DUC

Carl Perry and Ed Vielmetti from Packet and David Tischler from miniNodes were guests on the 96Boards OpenHours, sponsored by Linaro. The discussion was led by Carl who talked about a design for an Arm DUC (“developer unit of computing”), aimed at leveraging existing standards to bring higher performance systems to the desktop of Arm developers.

k3s cluster running OpenFaas (Alex Ellis)

Alex Ellis has a great tutorial on using Rancher’s new k3s Kubernetes distribution on a Raspberry Pi cluster to run his OpenFaas functions-as-a-service platform. The k3s distro has certain advantages over stock Kubernetes in this situation, since the system consumes considerably less memory and thus provides more resources for applications to run on these small devices.

Windows 10 on Arm via KVM (The Register)

The Register reports in its distinct style on efforts to improve the developer experience for Windows 10 on Arm. The account looks at Microsoft’s contributions to KVM (the “kernel virtual machine”) to better allow for virtualizing Windows 10 on Arm under this system. The Github repository has new drivers and an extended technical discussion of how best to deploy them to proceed.

Seco SBC-C43: powered by NXP’s most powerful i.MX8 processor (CNXSoft)

CNXsoft reports on the Seco SBC-C43, a new single-board computer powered by NXP’s i.MX8 processor. This device is notable among SBCs for supporting up to 8 GB of memory. The high end unit is powered by a NXP i.MX 8QuadMax with 2x Cortex-A72, 4x Cortex-A53, 2x Cortex-M4F, 2x Vivante GC7000/XVSX GPU, and 4K VPU. Software support includes Yocto, Wind River Linux, and Android. No information yet on pricing or availability.

BalenaFin unboxing (CNXSoft)

CNXSoft has a detailed unboxing of the BalenaFin, a carrier board for the Raspberry Pi compute module that features “support for variable voltage power input, optional PoE, industrial eMMC flash storage, a real-time Arm Cortex-M4 core via Artik-020 module, and more.”

Steer case for Raspberry Pi (Rancher)

Mark Abrams from Rancher has a fun build of a 3d-printed case for the Raspberry Pi, designed to support a fully battery-operated Kubernetes installation with Rancher’s k3s. His kit, for which design files are provided, includes a nice battery management unit with an LBO (“low battery output”) circuit intended to support an orderly shutdown in the case of low voltage.