As a general rule most smartphones have ARM-based processors and most desktop and notebook PCs have Intel or AMD chips based on x86 architecture (although that’s starting to change with the launch of Windows on ARM).
But now Gigabyte and Cavium are introducing the first desktop workstation powered by an ARM-based processor.
Workstation PCs are typically high-performance (and high-cost) machine, and the ThunderXStation definitely seems to fit the bill.
The first version to ship will come with a 2.2 GHz, 32-core CPU with 4 threads per core for a total of 128 threads. It also comes with an NVIDIA GeForce 710 GPU with dual monitor support, but Gigabyte says it’s also testing other NVIDIA and AMD GPUs.
The computer supports DDR4-2133/2400/2666 memory and it can use up to 8 DIMMs per CPU.
Other features include:
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 2 PCIe Gen 3.0 slots per CPU
- 2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 ports
- 2 SATA IIZI on-board connectors
- 2 U.2 or SATA III 2.5″ drive bays
- 4 USB 3.0 ports
- 1 RS-232 port
The ThunderXStation will ship with Ubuntu 17.10 but it also supports CentOS 7.4 and OpenSUSE.
It’s available for purchase from Phoenix Electronics for “competitive” pricing, which means you’ll need to contact Phoenix to get a quote.