AMD Kyoto Chips to Challenge Intel Atom in Microservers

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-05-29 Print this article Print

The ARM server ecosystem will not only include Calxeda, Applied Micro and Marvell, but also major players like Samsung and Qualcomm. That said, AMD brings with it a history of making server chips, as well as long relationships with systems makers and a significant amount of IP that it can draw on, he said. AMD also understands the financial and technical demands that come with products cycles where chips are upgraded every 12 to 18 months.

"The CPU business is no place for small companies," Feldman said. "It's just too expensive."

He told eWEEK that ARM over the next few years will take significant share from Intel in the server space and hold as much as 20 percent of the market by 2016. ARM’s ecosystem and low-power designs fit well in the changing data centers.

“This new environment is going to have new needs, and the same-old, same-old will not work anymore," he said.

Intel officials have spoken about their company’s experience in the server space, which already is showing to be an advantage. They have noted that by the time systems with ARM’s 64-bit ARMv8 architecture hit the market next year, they will be competing with microservers already powered by second-generation Atom chips.

"By the end of 2013, we will have four 64-bit Atom products" for different systems, including microservers, Lisa Graff, vice president and general manager of the Datacenter Marketing Group within Intel's Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, said in April during a press briefing about Avoton.

Feldman said AMD’s x86-based Opteron-X chips also trump Intel’s low-power Atom S1200 SoCs in a range of areas, from single-thread performance to throughput. The AMD chips can hold up to four cores, offer 2MB of L2 cache, include up to 32GB of DRAM and come integrated with 128 AMD Radeon 8000 cores. They are based on AMD’s new “Jaguar” core.

The X2150 offers speeds of up to 1.9GHz, consumes as little as 11 watts and comes with the integrated Radeon graphics technology. The 2GHz X1150 is a CPU-only version that consumes as little as 9 watts.

The chips are available immediately, and Feldman said he expects systems powered by them to begin hitting the market as early as June.



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