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AMD reboots server strategy with first ARM chips

Agam Shah | June 18, 2013
AMD shares details about its first ARM server chips code-named Seattle.

The Seattle chips will be based on the Cortex-A57 processor design, which is ARM's first 64-bit chip. AMD's ARM CPU will be part of a chip package that will also include 10-gigabit Ethernet and the Freedom Fabric interconnect, which will connect the server CPU to other components in a server.

AMD will compete with chip makers like AppliedMicro and Calxeda, who are pursuing 64-bit ARM server chips. Mitac earlier this month announced a 64-bit ARM server called 7-Star with an AppliedMicro chip.

AMD has also taken steps to make software portable between x86 and ARM. It helped establish the HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) Foundation, which aims to make applications easily portable across different chip architectures and devices including PCs, game consoles, tablets and smartphones.

AMD is also working Facebook's Open Compute Project to develop a common slot for x86 and ARM chips. That specification should make it easier to build servers in which x86 and ARM chips can be swapped.

Also coming next year are new low-power x86 Opteron chips code-named Berlin, which will double the performance of existing Opteron X-series chips. The chips will have CPUs based on the new Steamroller architecture, and internal graphics processors will help speed up computing.

AMD also updated its high-end server processor roadmap with the next-generation Opteron chip code-named Warsaw, which will be released for two- to four-socket servers in the first quarter next year. Warsaw is faster and more power efficient than existing Opteron 6300 chips, and the new chips can be slotted into existing servers running on latest Opteron processors.

 

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