Enzian updates

We post major updates and a periodic summary to the mailing list.

June 09, 2020

The CPU is up!

Today had a few white-knuckle moments with power sequencing, but in the end this has been a really great day!

May 14, 2020

Enzian power on test teaser

A somewhat nerve-wracking time in the Enzian team as the Swiss lockdown is relaxed:

April 28, 2020

Adventures in Cache Coherence Interoperability

As we've said many times, a key feature of Enzian as a research computer is the low-level access to the cache coherency protocol, which in our case is the native inter-socket protocol implemented by the ThunderX-1 CPU.

April 19, 2020

Enzian and cache coherency

The role of cache coherency in Enzian is interesting to think about. Consider a typical two-socket NUMA machine (such as the kind of system that the ThunderX-1 processor was designed for):

April 17, 2020

Signal integrity testing

Testing the assembled, non-functional Enzian board for signal integrity turned out to be rather more work than we expected, much of it involving machining bits of metal -- real hardware.

April 16, 2020

Assembled Enzian v.1.3 board

When we got the first boards back late last year, they were not functional - in particular, an error in the design made it impossible to power up the FPGA or CPU. This was caught by the company doing the assembly, so we didn't have the two big chips soldered on.

April 14, 2020

Long-overdue updates

We've been pretty quiet about Enzian over the last few months, but plenty has been happening behind the scenes despite the difficult times we're going through. Best wishes for good health to everyone reading this.

December 18, 2019

Paper on Enzian accepted to CIDR 2020

In October we had a paper on Enzian accepted to CIDR 2020 - the Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research, held in Amsterdam this January!

December 17, 2019

Results from the first test boards

We posted pictures of the first test PCBs back in August. Dream Chip sent two of these for assembly to see if they worked - a couple of issues had already been identified but they weren't necessarily critical.

December 15, 2019

Updates, at last!

It's been a long time since we posted an update to the Enzian site, for which we apologize! It's not that little has been happening - quite the opposite!

August 07, 2019

We have a board, sort of...

We have a first run of fabricated test boards for Enzian. Here's what they look like (with pen for scale):

February 13, 2019

Board render!

Here's a 3D render of the eATX-format Enzian board.

December 13, 2018

Team update

It's been a while since we updated list of team members for Enzian.

November 27, 2018

Enzian power distribution boards

We've now got a power distribution board back from manufacture. David designed this to help us build a mock-up Enzian power and clock distribution network so Adam can write and test the Board Management Controller software.

November 13, 2018

We've signed off on the schematic

We've finalized the schematic for the first revision of the Enzian single board, and Dream Chip have now started PCB layout. Many thanks to everyone at ETH, Cavium, and Xilinx who helped review the draft schematics and spot issues!

June 29, 2018

Mothy gave a talk at Dagstuhl

Prof. Mothy Roscoe gave a talk at the Dagstuhl seminar on "Convergence in Networked Systems".

June 14, 2018

FPGA-side DDR4 controller

Thanks to Zeke, we now have a working DDR4 controller for the FPGA-side of Enzian integrated with the (prototype) donut/shell.

June 10, 2018

Linux is up!

Thanks to some great TianoCore hacking from Adam, we now have Linux (and Barrelfish...) reliably booting on the ThunderX side of the Enzian prototype machines! This also gives us a solid software base for booting the final production board when it arrives.

May 17, 2018

We have an OUI!

We've successfully applied to the IEEE for an Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI), since we're going to need at least 7 MAC addresses per Enzian system (1 for the BMC, 2 for the ThunderX, and at least 4 for the FPGA 100Gb/s interfaces). Enzian how has a Large MAC address block assigned: 0C:53:31.

April 20, 2018

Mothy gave talks at Boston University and MIT

Prof. Mothy Roscoe gave the "Red Hat Collaboratory at Boston University Colloquium" on April 19th and presented the following day at the IAP workshop at MIT.