back to article Cavium snubs MIPS, picks 64-bit ARM for next-gen network SoCs

Cavium – the brains behind the chips in big-brand networking products – has plumped for the ARM architecture over MIPS in its next-generation network processors. It's a sign that more and more serious networking gear is likely to be ARM powered rather than MIPS in future. The Octeon-TX family of system-on-chips, announced …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couple of questions...

    Anyone any idea how these (and/or previous ThunderX parts) compare with AMD64 for general computing tasks? (per Watt or per cycle)

    Price? Probably not set for these yet(?)... but what's the going rate for Cavium's existing lineup?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8,192-bit keys

    Now you're talking (securely). None of that 4,096-bit trash!

    1. Havin_it

      Re: 8,192-bit keys

      I saw this and wondered if the meaning was "8 x 192-bit keys" (which would be rather less fancy in most use cases). I had to check there wasn't a space after the comma.

      Reg, find yo'self a better-kerned font! kthx

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: 8,192-bit keys

        Total overkill, as even 2048 bit keys are still fine now and for the next decade. While they won't be fine forever they'll be fine for the useful life of the networking device it will be installed in.

        At a certain point even if throwing nation state budgets at it would eventually crack a 2048 bit key in 3-6 months, you don't have to worry about that. What you really have to worry about is all the other stuff unrelated to key size - issues with key management, corner cases that allow MITM, flaws that allow accessing the decrypted data, that sort of thing. That's how you'll get hacked if you use a 2048 bit key, the NSA isn't going to devote a room full of supercomputers for months to crack your key. Using a key that large is just wasted resources.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 8,192-bit keys

          yeah right DougS. Get with the times, NSA/GCHQ is always decades ahead of the game, and that 2,048-bit key is crap. They have classified mathematics that will weaken the effect of the key size. They also store encrypted traffic so they can decrypt it later. Better to use large keys now, and most have more computing resources than they need for it.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: 8,192-bit keys

            Since a 8192 bit key is only about 25% larger in effective 'actual' key bits (a 2048 bit key is equal to only around 112 effective bits) if you think the NSA has classified mathematics that make breaking a 2048 bit key easy, why do you think an 8192 bit key will make a difference?

            If you're that paranoid you need to use multiple encryption schemes, so that a compromise of one of them (even down the road) won't leave you unprotected.

    2. tojb

      Re: 8,192-bit keys

      the password is:


      1. hellwig Silver badge

        Re: 8,192-bit keys (supercali....)

        Um, you don't have any special characters in there. You'll have to include one upper-case letter and one number.

  3. Joerg

    Is Netgear going to use this new Cavium on their next flagship VPN routers? The SRX5308 is using a Cavium MIPS.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Is Netgear going to use this new Cavium on their next flagship VPN routers? The SRX5308 is using a Cavium MIPS.

      That's likely to be wait and see. Seems a distinct possibility since they're using the single core CN5010 in the SRX5038. Based on my experience with Juniper's SRX210H the Cavium (SRX2010H uses the dual core Octeon 5020, but clocked at 400MHz vs 700MHz on Netgear) it gives pretty good bang for the buck.

      I believe the Netgear is Linux based whereas JunOS of course is based on FreeBSD so in either case I suspect support for ARM should not be any major issue.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone know OEM prices for Cavium ASICs (in general). What do vendors pay for those hardware pieces?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Prices

      It's hinted at in the roadmap chart: $500 for a top-end 24-core Octeon-TX.


      1. Dr Spork
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Prices

        Any idea whether that axis might be intended to imply linear progression (as one might consider for such data) or some sort of quasi-logarithmic progression as that infographic's other y-labels do?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chip to be used for servers?

    I couldn't help but wonder in reading this article if we might see this chip show up inside of servers as well as in networking equipment.

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