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Hardware News   Hardware News : Marvell Discovery V
   posted by billt on 18-Oct-2005 15:14:37 (3366 reads)
I saw this on ann.lu from takemehomegrandma, sounds very interesting. Marvell Launched their Discovery V device for MPX frontside CPUs, and offers USB2, Gigabit Ethernet, and PCI-Express.

Link


Seems like this could bring discrete G3/G4 CPUs up to some level of modernism in a system design, though an 8641 would probably offer somewhat higher performace equivalent when available due to the much faster internal MPX bus.

Olegil, any comments or interest? ;)
    

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Eric_S 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 15:28:45
#1 ]
Team Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 1334
From: Stockholm (Sweden)

Quote:
Comprehensive Development Tools

Marvell offers complete development platforms for Discovery V, enabling customers to start system development without waiting for their own hardware. Development platforms including the Freescale MPC7447A/7448A and IBM750FL/GL, will be available when Discovery V samples in Q1 2006. Complete reference design platforms including software drivers and board support packages for VxWorks and Linux provide a complete tool chain for accelerated customer development.
About Marvell Discovery System Controllers

Since its launch in December 2000, the Discovery family of system controllers has been established as the market leaders with multiple design wins across a broad spectrum of tier one customers. The Discovery V system controller integrates several I/O peripherals on-chip, including a DDR2 memory controller, a PowerPC CPU interface, Gigabit Ethernet, PCI-X and PCI-E bridges, storage functions, and a USB 2.0 interface. The Discovery V is software compatible with legacy Marvell Discovery system controllers, preserving the customer’s software investment while accelerating development cycles.


Samples are available at the same time as those for the 8641/D, if anything I'd like this to be the basis for a new low cost Troika board. Sometime in the future when the price of the thing has gone down sufficiently. New n.b's can be pretty expensive (relatively speaking) in the part of the market that this one's intended to sell.

Last edited by Eric_S on 18-Oct-2005 at 05:57 PM.

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Mufa 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 15:39:43
#2 ]
Member
Joined: 24-Jan-2004
Posts: 70
From: Poland

Go Eyetech go, AmigaONE XC on Discovery V

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HammerD 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 16:45:09
#3 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 31-Oct-2003
Posts: 909
From: Ontario, Canada

Personally I'd rather see a Tundra TSi 108A instead of the Discovery chip, which isn't even sampling yet. This chip is more than a year away from release whereas the TSi 108A is available now and has very similar specs.


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olegil 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 17:44:30
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5888
From: Work

@Eric_S

Hehe, you actually bought their "samples will be available on this here date we picked out of a cabinet in the basement" thingie?

I've yet to see samples being on time. And I've seen a LOT of samples.

Bill is right. Internal MPX with DDR2 on the outside still beats it hands down, but this is one big frigging step in the right direction.

PCIe to the people! Drugs to the hippies! Sex to me!


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Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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ppc4me 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 17:47:44
#5 ]
Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2005
Posts: 82
From: Unknown

>This chip is more than a year away from release

How do you know?

>whereas the TSi 108A is available now and has very similar specs.

Tundra currently lacks PCI-E and USB2 and generally multiple PCI(-X) interfaces.

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HammerD 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 18:35:24
#6 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 31-Oct-2003
Posts: 909
From: Ontario, Canada

It's not even sampling until next year, and after that, do you really think you would have it in your hands as an end user product (motherboard) earlier than one year?


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Rob 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 19:53:51
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6043
From: S.Wales

@ppc4me

I don't know why so many people think PCI-E is a must have. The only current PCI-E cards are graphics cards which have no performance advantage ove their AGP counterparts. The other thing is that on X86 systems the newer games tend to be limited by the CPU not the Graphics cards unless you have an overclocked FX-57 or P4 extreme, and maybe even then still CPU limited.
The only thing that comes close to top end X86 performance is the PPC 970 and AGP cards are hardly in short supply.

When you say the TSi 108A doesn't have USB2 did you mean DDR2, I can't sy I've checked the spcs but the 107 has USB2 then why drop it from the next gen.

High spec DDR from the likes of Corsair, GEIL and OCZ will outperform DDR2 so that isn't really necessary either.

As for PCI-X, name one reason why we need it.


When we have PPC's running in excess of 3GHZ then we will want PCI-E and DDR2, but probably not PCI-X.

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Crumb 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 20:01:54
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 2209
From: Zaragoza (Aragonian State)

The specs are great, but I think that an 8641(D) cpu may be more interesting for us amiga users... it should have a real 666Mhz bus and being a single chip it would be cheaper and easier to build boards for us.

BTW I'm glad to see that Troika has decided to update the specs of the board, but I hope they release it ASAP... if they wait too much time 8641D will be ready and people will ask why they don't use it so Troika... release it soon!


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billt 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 21:31:46
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Oct-2003
Posts: 3180
From: Maryland, USA

Quote:
The specs are great, but I think that an 8641(D) cpu may be more interesting for us amiga users... it should have a real 666Mhz bus and being a single chip it would be cheaper and easier to build boards for us.


Single chip doesn't necessarily equate to cheaper boards. The 8641 will need at least 10 layers to fan out the BGA pins to PCB routing. I'm not sure if a 7447/7448 plus this Discovery V would require so many layers, as their BGA pattern isn't as dense. Signal integrity and manufacturing reliability might come into play, as the higher density BGA, and thus smaller and closer together traces might decrease yields compared to G4+DiscoveryV, making price go up. We don't know what the price of an 8641 will compare to the combined price of G4+DiscoveryV. It's a big balancing act, and there's currently no answer to which costs less.


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olegil 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 21:37:57
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5888
From: Work

@ppc4me

DDR2 isn't about performance, it's about making it easier to design them in, so there's a higher chance of seeing 667MHz DDR2 in a small-market motherboard than 667MHz DDR

And PCIe has a few interesting tricks up its sleeves which AGP cannot follow. Like splitting the bus in multiple channels with a PCIe switch and running 4 graphics cards at 4 lanes each for instance.

Or using a non-transparent bridge/switch-port to map parts of or the whole memory of one (or many) computers into the memory of another computer. Whizz-bang, there's a cluster for you.

Or adding a cable interface and placing a few SATA2/SCSI controllers with as many disks as you can afford in a separate box several meters away. Or combining all of these features into the biggest server you'll ever see below 10000 EUR


_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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billt 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 18-Oct-2005 22:41:54
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Oct-2003
Posts: 3180
From: Maryland, USA

Quote:
The only current PCI-E cards are graphics cards which have no performance advantage ove their AGP counterparts.


There's a lot mroe variety in PCI-Express than just graphics cards. Olegil posted links to web store pages a couple months ago in another thread for a number of different kinds of things such as Firewire, and either SATA or SCSI, maybe some others. Broadcom has a network chip, don't remember if it was wired ethernet or B/G wireless, but it had a PCI-Express port on it. That you can buy today. That aren't graphics cards.

The main perormance advatage that PCI-Express graphics cards will soon have, if not already, is that the highest clocked versions of the highest chip models will only be in PCI-Express format, and AGP will only have older chip models and/or lower clock frequencies. As there really wasn't anything that took real advantage of AGP8x or 4x performance that really made a serious difference compared to AGP2x bus, the huge bandwidth improvement in PCI-Express x16 may not be noticed much. It'll be advances in GPU tech that is only sold on PCIe boards that will make serious differences for some time. Can you get a GF7800 or Radeon X1800 in AGP format?


As for PCI-X, no we in the Amiga community aren't likely to find a use for it. But the DiscoveryV isn't made with us in mind, they're thinking of different markets where PCI-X would be more important. Such as for Cisco who would want a number of high-speed network thingamies connected up. In time, PCI-Express may well take over that though, but there's currently still some good use for the likes of them to have PCI-X for a couple more years.


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TrebleSix 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 19-Oct-2005 8:27:07
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-Sep-2004
Posts: 3747
From: Pembrokeshire, Wales

@olegil

Quote:
PCIe to the people! Drugs to the hippies! Sex to me!


posts a always-ready out of the box blow-up doll to olegil


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Rob 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 19-Oct-2005 17:24:36
#13 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6043
From: S.Wales

@blit

Okay I wasn't aware that ther were any PCI-E x1 cards available yet. As for the graphics cards there is no point in having the highest spec highest clocked card if your CPU can't keep up.

I wasn't saying that the Marvell Discovery shouldn't have these features. What I was saying is that I didn't understand why some amiga users were requesting/demanding stuff like PCI-E on a board which at most is going to support 1.4GHz G4 (more likely 800Mhz G3).

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gregthecanuck 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 19-Oct-2005 21:33:28
#14 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Dec-2003
Posts: 846
From: Vancouver, Canada

@thread

Apple's newest dual-core G5 now uses PCI-Express as its main expansion bus.

NO PCI.
NO PCI-X.

That should spur the PCI-Express market somewhat.

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olegil 
Re: Marvell Discovery V
Posted on 20-Oct-2005 15:49:16
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5888
From: Work

@gregthecanuck

As usual Apple are both daring and clear. They dare to point the way forward, and they make a pretty clear statement that PCI is old-school and PCIe is the future. They did it with IEEE1394 for high-speed IO, they did it with USB for low-speed IO, they do it again with PCIe for high-speed interconnect.

And PCIe really is that good. Both for board designers and consumers. It's a bit more work for the poor ####s who do FPGA, ASIC and IC designs, but 2.5Gbps isn't that difficult in this day and age


_________________
This weeks pet peeve:
Using "voltage" instead of "potential", which leads to inventing new words like "amperage" instead of "current" (I, measured in A) or possible "charge" (amperehours, Ah or Coulomb, C). Sometimes I don't even know what people mean.

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