Ampere is a start-up to create a data center processor built on the foundations of Applied Micro Circuits. The company has now announced that it is able to outperform its competitors’ server processors, and these are the highest level ones available – we are talking AMD Epyc and Intel Xeon ‘Cascade Lake’. Its 80-core Ultra-Arm processor which is built using the 7nm TSMC process is also expected to deliver performance at competitive levels with better efficiency. Trial versions of Ampere Altra 210W are already being sent to major companies such as Microsoft and Oracle and will be available as single- and dual-socket platforms. Mass production of the systems is planned for mid-2020.
Ampere Altra Arm – 80-core process equipment is already being tested by the largest players in the market. Will this Stratup threaten Intel and AMD in the server market?
Renee James, founder, and CEO of Ampere is the former CEO of Intel. James says the new Ampere-Altra is designed to excel in cloud applications and extreme loads. In particular, Ampere Altra is considered “the industry’s first native 80-core cloud microprocessor. So that makes Ampere Altra different and a better choice for cloud computing than AMD Epyc or Intel Xeon.
According to the Ampere press release, the unique features of the cloud are very different from more traditional enterprise data center environments in terms of how it takes advantage of processing power, security, and energy efficiency. Atiq Bajwa, Ampere’s CTO and lead architect, provided some information about how Altra works.
Bajwa explained that Altra’s single-threaded Ampere cores and dense, energy-efficient servers can provide “reliable, durable performance and a high level of isolation and security for each customer, regardless of what other tenants are running in these environments. The 64-bit ampere Ultra is based on the Arm Neoverse N1 platform.
Ampere Altra features:
- Up to 80 single-threaded cores in 1P and 160 cores in 2P platform
- 7-nm technology
- 8 DDR4 3200 channels with 2 DPCs supporting up to 4 TB of memory per slot
- 128 PCIe-Gen4 lines on 1P and 192 PCIe-Gen4 lines on 2P platforms
- Two 128-bit SIMD units
- AI acceleration with int8 and fp16 instructions
- Class RAS
- Arm v8.2 +, SBSA level 4
Microsoft is evaluating amp systems in its laboratories for use in the Azure cloud. Meanwhile, Oracle plans to use ampere chips in its services and is optimizing most of its software, including Oracle Linux, Oracle Java, and Oracle Database, to run on Altra. Oracle has previously invested $40 million in amps. Ampere’s press release also lists other companies testing new processors, including Canonical, VMware, Lenovo, Micron and Gigabyte.