Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has revealed details of its first 64-bit ARM based processors for servers. The development is likely to be more significant for ARM since it suffered the setback of the closure of server pioneer Calxeda late in 2013.
At the Open Compute Summit in San Jose, Calif. AMD exhibited a development platform for its Opteron A1100 series processor – previously codenamed Seattle – and said it would be sampling the 28nm chips imminently. The development platform includes an evaluation board and software.
AMD revealed that the processor will include 4 or 8 Cortex-A57 64-bit processor cores licensed from ARM and up to 4Mbytes of shared L2 cache memory and up to 8Mbytes of shared L3 cache. The processor's channels to off-chip memory are configurable dual DDR3 or DDR4 channels with error correction that operate at up to 1.866 gigatransfers per second. The chip also has 8 lanes of PCI Express I/O, 8 serial ATA ports and two 10-Gbit/s Ethernet ports.
Cryptographic and datacompresson coprocessors are included in the chip along with ARM TrustZone technology to support secure processing activities.
AMD said the processor would sample in the first quarter of 2014 and that is working with other companies to ensure compilers, simulators, hypervisors, operating systems and application software are available.
The development platform will be supported with a UEFI boot [Unified Extensible Firmware Interface] and a Linux development environment based on Fedora, a Red Hat-sponsored, community-driven Linux distribution.
"The needs of the data center are changing. A one-size-fits-all approach typically limits efficiency and results in higher-cost solutions," said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager of the AMD server business unit. "The new ARM-based AMD Opteron A-Series processor brings the experience and technology portfolio of an established server processor vendor to the ARM ecosystem and provides the ideal complement to our established AMD Opteron x86 server processors."
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