ARM Launches Intelligent Flexible Cloud Framework to Shape the Next-Generation Network

February 26, 2015

Cambridge, UK, Feb. 26, 2015 - ARM today announced its vision for transforming network infrastructure to address the demands of content-rich mobile experiences and IoT-based services in the next decade. To achieve this vision, ARM has worked with its partners to provide operators and service providers with a new approach for an Intelligent Flexible Cloud (IFC) environment to meet the unyielding latency, power and size constraints for next-generation networks.

IFC brings together platforms based on diverse, scalable, highly-integrated system-on-chips with heterogeneous compute capabilities supported by a common layer of enabling software and distributed network intelligence. It builds on technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), which combined with distributed intelligence enables applications to move out in the network to where data resides for a significant reduction in power consumption and increased responsiveness. The result is a more elastic and resilient network. This accelerates time to market for new services to meet the high velocity of cloud business model evolution and supports the forthcoming wave of data throughput and storage requirements that are projected to grow nearly 4X and 2X, respectively, in the next three to five years alone.

"The underlying network infrastructure that supports our mobile and connected world is undergoing a dramatic shift," said Charlene Marini, vice president, segment marketing, ARM. "The scalability of ARM® technology, combined with the networking systems expertise of our partners is increasing node intelligence and configurability, laying a new foundation for software-defined functions and applications. The move to the ARM architecture is underway, enabling new possibilities for an intelligent flexible cloud from device to data center."

A research brief on IFC, "Bringing Intelligence to the Cloud Edge" by Moor Insights and Strategy was made available in February 25, 2015. Additionally, a whitepaper from ARM outlining new enabling technology standards, heterogeneous system on a chip (SoC) architectures, and the benefits of distributing intelligence towards the network edge is available to download on the ARM Connected Community.

An array of diverse silicon solutions targeting IFC requirements have been announced by many of the major silicon vendors who already have large footprints in networking today. A number have already started shipping highly-integrated and heterogeneous SoCs that will deliver against this new vision for network infrastructure. ARM and ARM ecosystem silicon vendors will be demonstrating multiple platforms highlighting IFC concepts at MWC 2015.

Partner Quotes:

"A rapid migration to heterogeneous computing architectures is underway and ARM is innovating accordingly," said Chris Balough, senior director of SoC product marketing, Altera. "With ARM Cortex®-A53 processors in our Stratix® 10 SoCs and Cortex-A9 processors in our Cyclone®- and Arria®-class SoCs, Altera is able to deliver heterogeneous computing platforms that put us in a great position to serve our customers' increasing need for computing performance."

"With a rich legacy in delivering networking infrastructure solutions, AMD, in collaboration with ARM, is well-positioned to meet the specific demands of the Intelligent Flexible Cloud," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. "As demonstrated with our recent NFV solution, AMD is leading the market with 64-bit ARM solutions that enable service providers to innovate with cost-effective designs, deployment and management of networking services."

"AppliedMicro's X-Gene™ Server on a Chip® silicon enables high performance, low TCO solutions for throughput-intensive, data dense applications," said Kumar Sankaran, associate vice president, APM. "Not only does X-Gene eliminate the need for other discrete chips for networking, it offers malleable offload engines to support SDN, security and other user-defined applications to enable the flexibility in workloads the Intelligent Flexible Cloud demands."

"From the Cloud to the edge of the network, Cavium has adopted the ARMv8-A architecture and Intelligent Flexible Cloud as the foundation for our custom ARMv8 based SoC platforms," said Gopal Hegde, vice president and general manager, data center processor group, Cavium. "Cavium's ThunderX product family, with 48 64-bit ARM processors on a single die, delivers an unprecedented level of integration and industry leading ARMv8-A SoC performance with extensive optimization to suit the needs of the complex protocol stacks involved in NFV and C-RAN."

"Enea shares the vision of the Intelligent Flexible Cloud, and Enea's software platforms for heterogeneous system-on-chip solutions are well aligned with these new use cases." said Daniel Forsgren, senior vice president, product management, Enea. "We are excited to be a key partner in the ARM ecosystem, and we continue to drive the development of NFV, SDN and distributed intelligence solutions for the next generation infrastructure."

"EZchip brings a new approach to an Intelligent Flexible Cloud with an unprecedented combination of high performance, throughput and efficiency," said Amir Eyal, vice president, business development, EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. "Our new TILE-Mx multicore processor incorporates one hundred ARM Cortex-A53 cores onto a single chip. This unique combination of high core count, highly efficient mesh for linear scaling of the interconnected cores and proven hardware accelerators for packet processing are tailored for the Intelligent Flexible Cloud."

"To address the fast-moving market dynamics associated with the dramatically growing number of network endpoints, Freescale has brought to market innovative ARM-based SoCs which feature a mix of optimized compute, I/O and networking capabilities," said Tareq Bustami, vice president of Freescale's digital networking group. "With up to eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores, SoCs based on Freescale’s scalable QorIQ architecture are able to address the needs of deployments from the edge of the network through to the core."

"Linaro is working with the ARM ecosystem to deliver common software for the full range of highly differentiated, workload-optimized range of ARM-based SoC solutions that are well positioned to deliver the cost, power and performance requirements for the Intelligent Flexible Cloud," said Mark Orvek, executive vice president, engineering, Linaro. "The momentum within the Linaro Networking and Enterprise Groups (LNG and LEG) ramping the software ecosystem is accelerating and we are excited to be a part of the developing story for ARM in Cloud and Network Infrastructure."

"Marvell's comprehensive ARMADA® portfolio of highly-integrated SoCs, based on home-grown revolutionary technology, is a natural fit for the Intelligent Flexible Cloud. The ARMADA family delivers optimized end-to-end solutions — for sensors to servers at shorter design cycles," said Michael Zimmerman, vice president, connectivity, storage and infrastructure business unit, Marvell. "Our rich experience and innovation in storage and networking coupled with our commitment to ARM drive high-performance platform solutions that address emerging requirements for data-dense applications."

"Together with ARM-based solutions, Xilinx is laying a foundation for the Intelligent Flexible Cloud that enables heterogeneous multi-processing with the right engines for the right task," said David Hawke, product marketing director, communications business unit, Xilinx. "Our All Programmable Zynq-7000 SoCs and Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC families scale from 32-bit dual-core to 64-bit quad-core and are integrated with programmable logic fabric to deliver breakthrough system performance for increasingly demanding network algorithms."

Additionally ARM spokespeople are available throughout Mobile World Congress for more in-depth IFC discussions. To book a meeting, please contact



Phil Hughes
+1 512-694-7382
Director of Tech PR, ARM

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