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  1. #1
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    AMD Announces ARM-Based Opteron SoC

    http://anandtech.com/show/7724/it-be...-opteron-a1100

    Smaller and more power efficient are definitely driving forces in the market, but what advantage does AMD gain by going with an ARM architecture given that Intel already has Avoton (comparable 20W TDP with 8 cores) to market in the x86 realm? True, Avoton only supports 64 GB of RAM, but these SoCs aren't scheduled to be released until Q4.
    It will be interesting to see where AMD goes with this.

  2. #2
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    It allows them some freedom from their entire business model relying on x86 licensing. That in itself is appealing. Competition certainly isn't a bad thing.

    I've been looking forward to the ARM servers for a while. While they probably won't be popular here and I expect some pushback from traditional hosting providers they are going to be quite appropriate for extreme minimal distros that are virtualized similar to how the container-based platforms have been successful but somewhat proprietary in offering(i.e. Heroku). You see this in Docker(lxc) and some other similar technologies.


  3. #3
    Why pay more when we can have a dedicated architecture just for running web hosting, or parallel processing. They can release the processor a little earlier but it'll sure bring them lower profits.

  4. #4
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    It might have been attractive if it had been released before Avoton. At 28nm, by the time it's released to market, it'll be competing against Avoton's successor at 14nm. Which means it will be more expensive to produce and less power efficient. And most likely nowhere as fast.

    The only advantage AMD has is the 2x built-in 10Gbe NICs.
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  5. #5
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    It'll probably use 4 times the power and have half the performance.

    Another dead horse for the glue factory. AMD is useless.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by hhw View Post
    It might have been attractive if it had been released before Avoton. At 28nm, by the time it's released to market, it'll be competing against Avoton's successor at 14nm. Which means it will be more expensive to produce and less power efficient. And most likely nowhere as fast.

    The only advantage AMD has is the 2x built-in 10Gbe NICs.
    The IO such as the memory interface, SATA, PCI-E, and Ethernet don't benefit nearly as much as the logic and cache part of the chip, which is importan ince IO is the main strength over Avoton for this product.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Microlinux View Post
    It'll probably use 4 times the power and have half the performance.

    Another dead horse for the glue factory. AMD is useless.
    Are you serious? I think this is great news for ARM and AMD.
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  8. #8
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    I'm actually excited to see a return to RISC processors in servers. The x86 ISA has served the PC (and commodity server) industry well, but it's not ideal. The vast majority of software doesn't actually care what CPU it's running on. Just recompile, and it'll happily run with a different ISA. Without all the legacy cruft, ARM-based servers have the potential to perform better and use less power.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bqinternet View Post
    I'm actually excited to see a return to RISC processors in servers. The x86 ISA has served the PC (and commodity server) industry well, but it's not ideal. The vast majority of software doesn't actually care what CPU it's running on. Just recompile, and it'll happily run with a different ISA. Without all the legacy cruft, ARM-based servers have the potential to perform better and use less power.
    Any Intel CPU's since Pentium 4 already have a RISC core, and the decoders only take up a small amount of silicon. Very little efficiency is lost from it, meanwhile allowing Intel more flexibility in making changes to the instruction sets of the RISC cores while presenting a stable ISA externally. Even if they were to get rid of x86, they would probably maintain such a layer.

    x86 may not scale down quite as well as ARM does to low transistor counts, but with Intel's manufacturing prowess, they may not have to. At the microserver level, Avoton is already ahead and Denverton will significantly extend that lead. Frankly, I don't think ARM is going to get much traction with servers that actually have to do any lifting, now that Intel has set its sights on this market.

    Meanwhile, I doubt ARM will have much success scaling up anywhere near high performance computing. Sun had lots of very smart engineers working on SPARC, and was much more optimized for high end computing than ARM. If there were any clear advantage to a pure RISC ISA, it would have been evident by now.
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