Marvell has collaborated with ARM to develop the Armada 8040 networking community board, targeting OpenDataPlane (ODP), OpenFastPath (OFP) and ARM network functions virtualisation (NFV) ecosystem communities.

The Armada 8040 is based on a quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor and includes full CPU and I/O virtualisation, an advanced networking packet processor and state-of-the-art connectivity.

Collaboration with the software ecosystem will deliver an open source ODP platform for middleware and applications on the community board, according to the company. Additionally, Marvell and ARM have partnered to offer university developer students access to Armada 8040 platforms.

The Armada 8040 is a scalable, virtual System-on-Chip (Marvell vSoC) that supports a wide range of IP appliances, secured routers, unified control and data plane applications, NFV applications, virtual CPE, enterprise applications and data centre applications. The cost-effective, hyper-scale vSoC also delivers a high level of integration and efficiency, as well as leading performance and power.

Michael Zimmerman, vice president and general manager of connectivity, storage and infrastructure business unit at Marvell, said the Armada 8040 is the first product in its multi-core series, noting that the company plans to launch its "8, 16 and 32 cores during the first quarter of 2017."

“Ongoing transitions in network infrastructure to software-defined, virtualised network functions (VNFs) are driving developer needs for cost-optimized hardware platforms coupled with scalable, open source-based software,” said Charlene Marini, vice president, segment marketing, ARM. “The open availability of the cost-optimized ARMADA 8040 combined with the ODP platform further accelerates networking developer communities, enabling the rapid optimisation and validation of VNF applications on the ARM architecture.”

As the first-of-its-kind networking community board, the Armada 8040 leverages Marvell’s Modular Chip (MoChi) technology interface to enable driver-transparent expansion beyond the standard device offering, and exposes 10GbE, 2.5GbE, 1GbE , PCIe3.0, USB3.0, SATA3.0 and SD3.0 interfaces.

Marvell’s software offering for the Armada 8040 networking community board includes a fully open source ODP implementation, in addition to U-Boot, UEFI, Linux LTS kernel 4.4.x, Yocto 2.1, netmap and OFP. It will also support mainline Linux kernel, mainline U-Boot and mainline UEFI EDK2.

Marvell's Armada 8040 networking community board is available for pre-orders.