Azul Systems targets a very distinct environment—network attached computing (NAC). More specifically, the company's new Vega 2-based 3200 series compute appliances are designed to replace conventional servers running J2EE Java applets typically associated with Webbased applications. Systems are designed to handle tens of thousands of transactions.
AVega 2 chip contains 48 cores in groups of eight. It also features 16 high-speed serial Xlink interfaces. One is used to connect to a device such as a dual-port Gigabit Ethernet interface, while the remaining Xlink interfaces are used to access memory on other Vega 2 chips.
This is similar to AMD's use of HyperTransport. The difference is that Azul doesn't support switching. An AMD Opteron can access memory two or more hops down a change of Opterons. This simplifies the PCI Express-link Xlink interface, as well as cache support. A fully populated system contains 768 cores.