Could This Be It?

“SynQuacerâ„¢ E-Series is a software development environment compliant with Linaro’s 96Boards open hardware specification. This has been built jointly by Socionext Inc., Linaro and GIGABYTE. It contains one “SC2A11”. “SC2A11” is a multi-core chip with 24 cores of ARM® Cortex-A53. It is possible to construct a high integrated and low power consumption server system. It is so highly efficient chip that it supports from cloud computing to edge computing, which is the key to IoT era.
 
By providing this software development environment, we are accelerating the development of ARM ® based software. We expect the new development environment to help the expansion of ARM®-based software in a broad range of applications including IoT gateway, edge computing and server.”
 
See Edge Server SynQuacerâ„¢ E-Series
Could this be the ARMed server board I’ve long been awaiting? It has DIMM slots. It has one gigabit/s NIC. I’d like two, but it has PCI-e. It has SATA. This could be it.

Price/availability exists and we have pictures… The two downsides I see are that the chip uses the aged A-53 core (24 of them in one chip will waste some power but at least it’s not Intel inside) and $1250 USD (shipping not included) and only 32-bit memory access! Do I really need this? It would be pretty cool for software development as intended but it’s still not quite right to replace my aged Beast. I like the general shape of it but it’s still a bit rough.

UPDATE – At the same event, RockChip 960 Enterprise Edition was unveiled. This is nice except that it’s limited to 1 gB port, 4 lanes of PCI-e and 4gB RAM. It has dual SATA and is likely priced about â…“ as much as the Socionext board. It’s good to have choices.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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44 Responses to Could This Be It?

  1. DrLoser says:

    Good to know that Robert has no answer on this one.

  2. DrLoser says:

    I presume, btw, that Robert always installs a browser other than Chrome on his family mobile phones, because obviously it’s the sign of an illegal monopoly that Android phones always come with Chrome pre-installed. Heck, they don’t even promote a choice via a dialog box! You know, the way that Microsoft was forced to do, back in the day.

    It’s the principle of the thing, though, and since Robert is rigorous on principles, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t touch Chrome with a barge-pole. Given that M$ is a huge underdog in the mobile phone business, he almost certainly installs Microsoft Edge on the things.

    One should always encourage innovation by supporting the plucky little underdog, that’s what I say. To help Robert out: Edge is available via the Google Apps store. Enjoy a better experience, for free!

  3. DrLoser says:

    Which OEMs Robert?

    Oh dear. You’re opening a can of Robert’s favourite yummy worms there, Grece. To forestall Robert: HP, Dell, and others. We may even see Fifi splattering the ether with stupid links on this one.

    The case is still under appeal, as far as I know. So, and because I really don’t want to see Robert go off on a tangent quite yet, let me ask the Sage of The North this single, simple, question:

    Have you ever cashed in a rebate on a computer product?

    And, in the unlikely event that you always stand on your principles, and always pay the sticker price:

    Why would you expect an OEM not to cash in a rebate?

  4. Grece says:

    Excluding competition is NOT the same as “squashing the competition” Robert. Hell, its not even close!

    For the like of me, I cannot fathom where you think excluding and squashing is one in the same.

    If Intel “squashed” the competition as you say, then logic would follow that there would be no competition right now for Intel, vis-à-vis AMD would not even exist. But since sanity shows that AMD is still in business, your statement is a fallacy.

    Care to retract your claims Robert?

  5. Grece says:

    Intel paid OEMs to avoid AMD

    Which OEMs Robert?

  6. DrLoser wrote, “There’s really no evidence of Intel squashing the competition by anything other than entirely legal and competitive means, is there?”

    Intel conspired with M$ to exclude competition and Intel paid OEMs to avoid AMD.

  7. Grece says:

    What’s truly hilarious is that an Intel PC can run stock Linux distros while ARM boards are still in the world of BSPs, proprietary GPU drivers and custom kernels.

    I was going to get around to saying that, you beat me to it.

  8. DrLoser says:

    I hate to state this in the open, Robert.

    But given all the information provided below, much of which you have provided yourself …

    There’s really no evidence of Intel squashing the competition by anything other than entirely legal and competitive means, is there?

    Which leads me to a direct conclusion. The reason you averted yourself from ever buying Intel again, after dropping your laptop on the tarmac near Easterville? (Which I still believe happened in 2004, rather than in the 1990s, as you imply.)

    It’s because the only two motherboards worth considering for a laptop at the time were Intel and AMD/Cyrix. No conspiracy. No mafia. No forced anything at all. Just plain, honest, commercial competition.

    Nobody else in the whole world believes in this crap any more, Robert, so why do you persist in doing so?

  9. kurkosdr says:

    you can carry on running the same old crap, far more efficiently, on Intel hardware.

    What’s truly hilarious is that an Intel PC can run stock Linux distros while ARM boards are still in the world of BSPs, proprietary GPU drivers and custom kernels.

  10. DrLoser says:

    This is nice except that it’s limited to 1 gB port, 4 lanes of PCI-e and 4gB RAM. It has dual SATA and is likely priced about ⅓ as much as the Socionext board. It’s good to have choices.

    Except when those choices are meaningless and you have no intention of paying for them.

    I’m just guessing here,m Robert, but I have 20+ years of Bayesian evidence on this one.

    You are never, ever, going to replace “Beast.” are you?

    Not even for a mini-server that would cost around C$299 on an amortised five year term.

    Have fun trying to negotiate your way around traffic circles in your pathetic dangerous worthless little tricycle. Which you won’t even be able to buy, because it isn’t even there.

    We are a community here, Robert. We can help you with a low cost replacement for “Beast.”

    Reach out, Brother! Reach out! Touch hands with your friends!

    (Clue: your hardware friend is Intel. No need to sell out to Microsoft — you can carry on running the same old crap, far more efficiently, on Intel hardware.)

  11. DrLoser says:

    Cyrix was bought by National Semiconductors, VIA Technologies, AMD.

    True, dat.

  12. joepeatf says:

    Cyrix was bought by National Semiconductors, VIA Technologies, AMD.

  13. DrLoser says:

    Under your self-imposed x386 Intel competitor rubric, Robert (and excluding AMD, which you admit was and is a real competitor), the only one of those that qualifies is the Cyrix one.

    Now, remind me again which nasty evil non-competitive monster of a company bought up Cyrix?

  14. DrLoser wrote, “had any of them given you a motherboard for free, you would grudgingly have accepted it.”

    My PCs:

    1. Rockwell 6502
    2. Intel 8080/8008???
    3. Cyrix
    4. Intel 486DX
    5. AMD Duron
    6. AMD Athlon 1800
    7. AMD Athlon 64
    8. AMD Phenom 9850

    I did use a few VIA thin clients, TLW uses Odroid-C2 and the living room has an ancient Atom. We both use ARMed smartphones.

    I’ve never depended much on Intel although they did specify protocols/buses/form-factors that I’ve used.

  15. DrLoser says:

    Hilarious update.

    This is nice except that it’s limited …

    Well, lots of things are limited, Robert. Your ability to program a GEBC-replacement web site in Pascal, for example. But here in the real world (where we actually set realistic goals, and occasionally open our wallets), “limitation” is a relative thing, not an absolute excuse for inaction.

    But, what am I saying? Real world? You don’t live in the real world, do you, Robert? And that is fine, and can possibly be ameliorated by suitable happy happy medication.

    Just, please, stop preaching to the rest of us from a pulpit that is already six feet under water.

  16. DrLoser says:

    At one time Intel had lots of welcome competition but they killed off all but AMD…

    Really? Lots? Using the x86 architecture? (Because, if they didn’t, they hardly qualify as “welcome competition” in your present terms. They’d just be an early equivalent of ARM, wouldn’t they?)

    Well, by “lots,” I suppose you might mean: Transmeta, Rise Technology, IDT, Cyrix, National Semiconductor, NexGen, Chips and Technologies, IBM, UMC, NEC. Quite the list, really, but you can add all of their output together and you still wouldn’t reach 1% of AMD’s output. Let alone Intel’s output. So, not much in the way of competition, really. Without even considering that most of them were dead in the water (x86 fab-wise) before the foundational i386 chips came out.

    And it’s hard to see how any of those companies were bullied into submission by Intel. How, pray, do you envisage that scenario happening in the case of, say, IBM? IBM is quite a large company. As is NEC, which isn’t even USAsian. And so on. Two of these companies were even bought out by AMD, for goodness’ sake.

    And I’ll lay dollars to micro-cents that you never once even contemplated buying a motherboard with a chip produced by a single one of these manufacturers. Your point is moot, old man. If a pioneering frontiersman of the 1990s Anti-Intel Revolution couldn’t give a rat’s ass about these companies’ product, why should anybody else?

    To be fair to the companies concerned and to you, Robert, I should admit that, had any of them given you a motherboard for free, you would grudgingly have accepted it.

    “Free” as in chips is basically your mantra, isn’t it?

  17. Deaf Spy says:

    This is not the world of evil Intel where you can buy any x86 motherboard and any PCI-E card, plug them together and have everything to work as expected (in the vast majority of cases)

    This reminds me of the current unpleasant situation with USB-3 and Thunderbolt ports, where peripherals may not always work as expected.

    For example, my current laptop has two thunderbolt / usb-c 3.1 ports and one usb-a 3.0 port. I bought a USB-C to HDMI adapter, which works fine with one of the thunderbolt ports, but works with the other only when plugged at one side; if you turn it 180 degrees, it doesn’t work. The USB-C to VGA adapter didn’t work at all, you hear only the sound when a device is plugged and unplugged. But the latter works perfectly well on a Dell Inspiron with a USB-C port. Go figure. Btw, the USB-C to HDMI adapter works perfectly well with a Lumia 950 phone to connect an external display.

    And Robert expects the immature world of ARM hardware to have no such issues. Poor thing. So trusty, so naïve…

  18. Grece says:

    Honestly Robert, it is a amazing you ever accomplish anything. It is always deliveries are expected in QX of XXXX, but you never even act. I seriously doubt that Beast will ever get updated to a new server board, until it physically dies and you forced to use an Intel board.

  19. kurkosdr says:

    Lots of competing suppliers.

    You are aware that there are only two companies making suitable ARM cores, ARM and Qualcomm? All those”competing suppliers” are like all the competing x86 motherboard manufacturers out there, aka all of them dependent on the same two companies in terms of pricing. No duopoly in the ARM world, sir!

    Anyway, before you buy this ARM board, make sure the PCI-E card you want to plug on it will work and will give you the desired performance without hiccups. I wouldn’t be surprised if the board you want to buy offers electrical compatibility with PCI-E but cannot deliver full performance. This is not the world of evil Intel where you can buy any x86 motherboard and any PCI-E card, plug them together and have everything to work as expected (in the vast majority of cases).

    I have been burnt by ARM in the past. I bought an ODROID-U3 and was getting worse graphics performance compared to my Galaxy S3 (and lots of stuttering) despite the ODROID U3 having the same chip as the S3 but much more thermal headroom. So, buyer beware when it comes to those ARM boards…

  20. DrLoser wrote, “When was the last time you even asked the question “What can Intel do for me?” Robert?”

    199x I bought a 486DX CPU chip. I’ve been using AMD and VIA until ARM became viable. ARM is almost totally free of the stench of Intel. Different architecture. Different price. Lots of competing suppliers. At one time Intel had lots of welcome competition but they killed off all but AMD, which they crippled. I prefer competition in suppliers.

  21. DrLoser says:

    Goody-bye, Intel.

    When was the last time you even asked the question “What can Intel do for me?” Robert? It has to be at least ten years ago, although perhaps Beast is now a “robust” teenager.

    The last time I remember you using an Intel device (I believe it was a lap-top) was when you dropped it on the tarmac in the Frozen North, and then, for no very accountable reason, decided to blame your own incompetence on the chip manufacturer.

    That was back in 2004, I believe. But do tell. I’m sure you have been a semi-regular Intel customer since then.

    Because — on the preposterous assumption that you have not been any sort of Intel customer since then — why would Intel bother with an insignificant cash-poor ignorant little pipsqeak like you?

  22. Deaf Spy wrote, “2 lanes will not show stellar performance”.

    I don’t need stellar performance. Earthly performance will do. Each lane is ~500MB/s, faster than two hard drives.

  23. Deaf Spy says:

    Pardon me, Robert, but 2 lanes will not show stellar performance. Esp. if you add a decent SSD.

  24. Grece says:

    Software raid??

  25. Deaf Spy wrote, “what is this mythical expansion card you will plug in this 16-lane PCI-e slot to utilize it fully?”

    I don’t need 16 lanes. See Adventures In Sata

    “The card is an IOCrest SI-PEX40062 with Marvell 88SE9235 chip, two lanes of PCI-e V2.0, and SATA 3.”

  26. Deaf Spy says:

    Gee, Robert, don’t you know how to unsubscribe from a mailing list?

    Anyway, what is this mythical expansion card you will plug in this 16-lane PCI-e slot to utilize it fully?

  27. Chuckle. As luck would have it, Intel sent me my final notice that my e-mail subscription for their announcements is ending:
    “Goodbyes Are Hard
     
    We wanted to give you one last chance to stay connected with Intel and continue to receive valuable and innovative information from us. If you’re not ready to go and want to stay connected, please visit the Subscription Center now to change or update your email preferences to receive only the emails that interest you the most.”

    Goody-bye, Intel.

  28. Deaf Spy says:

    Or what, Robert? Or what? 🙂

  29. Deaf Spy, lacking imagination, wrote, “your overpriced example has one 16-lane slot for graphics and one 1-lane slot for expansion…”

    Of course nothing says I must have a display … I can choose to add more SATA or Ethernet or…

  30. Deaf Spy says:

    The recent announcements show progress has been made in the direction I need and deliveries are expected in Q2 of 2018.

    So were deliveries for Solos, but… 🙂

  31. Deaf Spy says:

    TLW runs SSH daemon and X, for instance.

    So, running X on your local machine suddenly turns it into a server? Please, Robert. Even Fifi is not that stupid.

    …ARM on a motherboard with SATA and PCI-e…

    Now, let me ask you this – how many PCI lanes would be made available to SATA and then this fabulous PCI-e slot?

    For instance, your overpriced example has one 16-lane slot for graphics and one 1-lane slot for expansion… And, I can tell you, this is pretty slow. 🙂

    You know nothing about these things, do you?

  32. kurkosdr says:

    Perhaps there is no market, and having no market could be considered a monopoly by you.

    Perhaps attaching a fire hose (full PCI-E bus) to the mouth of a house cat (mobile SoC) is not such a good idea in the first place, and this is why there is no market for it. Not that this will prevent Pog from claiming it is.

  33. Grece says:

    For whatever reasons it has taken makers of motherboards a few years longer to put ARM on a motherboard

    Perhaps there is no market, and having no market could be considered a monopoly by you.

  34. Grece wrote, “There is simply no other option for him but to purchase Intel these days, to do so otherwise is just ignorant.”

    Nonsense. ARM can easily do what I want. For whatever reasons it has taken makers of motherboards a few years longer to put ARM on a motherboard with SATA and PCI-e and memory slots at a reasonable price. The recent announcements show progress has been made in the direction I need and deliveries are expected in Q2 of 2018.

  35. Deaf Spy wrote, “Servers, Robert, servers. Don’t play absent-minded, stay focused on the subject.”

    As we well know, a client can also be a server. TLW runs SSH daemon and X, for instance.

  36. Deaf Spy says:

    TLW has been using an Odroid-C2 for years now quite happily.

    Servers, Robert, servers. Don’t play absent-minded, stay focused on the subject.

    But, please, pay $1,250 for 24 slow cores! Just for the record, my current smartphone, nothing fancy these days, has four of these in addition to two much more powerful ones.

    It will be a fascinating show how this wonderful piece of expensive slowness struggles with mundane tasks. 🙂

  37. Grece says:

    Kurkosdr wrote, “please tell me how Intel is bad value for money”.

    Robert’s delusions have him backed into a corner. There is simply no other option for him but to purchase Intel these days, to do so otherwise is just ignorant.

    Actually Robert, since using Windows and Intel coincides with the archaic phrase “WinTel”, wouldn’t it be less costly to just use Intel sans Windows?? Do the maths the here, A + B = C, but without either A or B, you cannot obtain C.

  38. Kurkosdr wrote, “please tell me how Intel is bad value for money”.

    It’s not about money. It’s about Intel being one half of the Wintel monopoly. I don’t want anything to do with either of the two devils.

  39. kurkosdr says:

    You absolutely need a GPS on a server, yes, sir!

    Pfft… You are saying that because you have never operated an ARM server from a hot air balloon, sir!

    (Hammie once asserted that the reason a ARM “server” (media) board had an infrared receiver was so server operators could restart multiple servers in a data center at once using infrared, so I will not tolerate getting any flack for what I just said, we are in PogLand and I have the right to say anything I want as long as it is theoretically plausible, regardless of practical utility)

  40. Kurkosdr says:

    The two downsides I see are that the chip uses the aged A-53 core (24 of them in one chip will waste some power but at least it’s not Intel inside) and $1250 USD (shipping not included) and only 32-bit memory access!

    LMAO, please tell me how Intel is bad value for money. Any sane person would prefer 8 powerful and multi-threaded cores with 64-bit capability over 24 weak 32-bit cores from a mobile phone. Especially today with AMD providing some excellent high-end options and with Amazon and NewEgg overflowing with previous-generation but still powerful x86 CPUs.

    You see Pog, when most people want a desktop computer, they go and buy a desktop computer, so there is a real market catering to those needs. Just like when most people want a car they go and buy a car, they don’t buy a three-wheel golf cart that some fly-by-night operation jury-rigged into a “road vehicle” in a garage to dupe any gullible fools buying into the dream… oh yeah, bad analogy.

  41. Deaf Spy wrote, “come back when you buy any of these. Or anything ARM-based”.

    TLW has been using an Odroid-C2 for years now quite happily.

  42. Deaf Spy says:

    Bwahahahaha!

    You absolutely need a GPS on a server, yes, sir! 🙂

    Btw, come back when you buy any of these. Or anything ARM-based.

  43. Grece says:

    Robert, you do realize that if you were to EVER show face in a business setting, and present these as server-class boards, you would be laughed at faster then you can say the word: NUNAVUT

  44. Grece says:

    You are too much a tight ass to drop $1250 on a board.

    I could purchase 5-6 Supermicro server boards for that amount of money, or build two low-cost NAS servers or one really good one.

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