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Marvell Armada Reflagged as CN913x

March 17, 2020

Author: Linley Gwennap

Although Marvell has terminated the Armada brand, it continues to develop networking processors in that category. The Octeon TX2 CN913x, despite its branding, is the successor to the Armada 8040 family that entered production three years ago. Compared with their predecessors, the new parts have a similar CPU, memory, and I/O configuration but move from 28nm to 16nm technology, increasing speed and power efficiency. Like the older Armadas, they target small-business (SMB) and home-office (SOHO) routers and switches.

The Armada 8040 has four 2.0GHz Cortex-A72 CPUs, a 10Gbps encryption engine, and two 10G Ethernet ports, among other features. The CN913x raises the CPU speed to 2.2GHz but matches the CPUs with the same 2x512KB L2 caches and 1MB L3 cache as before. It also offers the same 64-bit DDR4-2400 interface with optional ECC, providing 19.2GB/s of DRAM bandwidth. The new SoC boosts IPSec throughput to 15Gbps and can handle both bulk and public-key encryption. It sports a packet processor that can deliver 15 million packets per second or 25Gbps for IP forwarding, all with minimal load on the CPUs.

The CN9132 is the full-featured model. It consumes 14W TDP, the same as the full-featured Armada 8040; the 16nm shrink compensates for the performance boost and additional high-speed serdes. The new chip saves additional power through its monolithic design, abandoning the previous generation’s two-die MoChi architecture. Marvell offers other CN913x models that limit the CPU speed, packet accelerator, and I/O; they also reduce power to as little as 9W TDP and carry lower prices. These derivatives replace older products such as the Armada 7040 and Armada 8020.

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