Info Hot Chips: Marvell details Thunder X3


Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
It sounds like Marvell is giving up on selling "off the shelf" ARM server chips, and is going to focus on semicustom:

Very much aligned with our growing emphasis on custom solutions, we are evolving our ARM-based server processor efforts toward a custom engagement model. Over the last few years, we have developed multiple generations of ARM server processors and have been working with customers to qualify our products for volume adoption. Our ThunderX2 processor was the industry's first ARM-based processor capable of powering dual socket servers, which can go toe-to-toe with x86-based solutions and has established the performance credentials for ARM in the server market. Hyperscale data center customers represent the largest opportunity for ARM server processors.

Having worked with them for multiple generations, it has become apparent that the long-term opportunity is for ARM server processors customized to their specific use cases rather than the standard off-the-shelf products. The power of the ARM architecture has always been in its ability to be integrated into highly customized designs optimized for specific use cases, and we see hyperscale data center applications is no different. With our breadth of processor know-how and now our custom ASIC capability, Marvell is uniquely positioned to address this opportunity. The significant amount of unique ARM server processor IP and technology we have developed over the last few years is ideal to create the custom processors hyperscalers are requesting.

Therefore, we have decided to target future investments in the ARM server market exclusively on custom solutions. The business model will be similar to our ASIC and custom programs where customers contribute engineering and mask expenses through NRE for us to develop and produce products specifically for them. We believe that this is the best way for us to continue to drive the growing adoption of ARM-based compute within the server market. While we continue to invest in a number of initiatives to drive long-term growth, such as advanced process technology, new markets, such as automotive and the launch of our new brand, our team has also remained focused on driving operational excellence.


Golden Member
Mar 10, 2017
In other words, we no longer have the stomach, or pocket book to go it alone on platform engineering for our server ARM architecture solutions. If you want something, help us out in R&D and we can get it for you.


Diamond Member
Apr 15, 2012

More info on the AT front page. I wonder which hyperscaler they have managed to hook? Microsoft?
I'm assuming you are referring to this line:

Having a hyperscaler win and keeping it is already a significant pie of the total market, and I think that’s what Marvell’s goal is here in the next several years.
I don't read that as they have secured a hyperscaler win, but it is their goal to do so. If they have secured one, I haven't seen any announcement of it from the hyperscaler or from Marvell.