AMD to Launch ARM-Based Opteron Server Chip in Late 2014
Su said it was too early to say how much the 28-nanometer Seattle chip will contribute to AMD's revenues in 2015, but she was optimistic, saying that "the interest in the platform is quite high and it's a major milestone for us to introduce our first 64-bit ARM chip into the market." She also said AMD was looking at how the company's ARM chip strategy can dovetail with the SeaMicro business, which not only includes the dense servers but also the Freedom fabric architecture. Currently, the SeaMicro servers run on AMD and Intel x86 chips. "One of the advantages of having a systems business is that we can do co-development between our chip development and our systems development," Su said. "So it will be quite important for us to have Seattle in SeaMicro systems, and that's in development." The SeaMicro business helped drive sequential revenue growth in the dense server business, due in large part to the ongoing work by Verizon Wireless. The carrier is standardizing its next-generation cloud server and storage infrastructure on SeaMicro's SM15000 microservers and Freedom fabric. AMD bought SeaMicro for $334 million in February 2012."What we're seeing in Seattle is really interest from a number of different angles," Su said. "There's general interest in ARM, there is interest in sort of trying out the new workloads with the capability. We see the fabric as an important differentiator, but we see that as a longer-term differentiator in the systems portion of the business. So I think the interest in Seattle is … it's the first 28-nanometer, 64-bit server chip out in the market. And I think that's driving the customer engagement."
A key part of AMD's strategy is building up an ecosystem around its ARM-based server chips. At the Open Compute Summit, AMD officials also announced that the company is contributing a microserver design that uses the Seattle SoC that will fit into the Open Compute Project's motherboard design, called "Group Hug." In addition, they said AMD will also offer a development platform to make it easier for programmers to design software for AMD's ARM chips.