AMD Changes Compute Landscape as the First to Bridge Both x86 and ARM Processors for the Data Center
SUNNYVALE, Calif. —10/29/2012 In a bold strategic move, AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced that it will design 64-bit ARM® technology-based processors in addition to its x86 processors for multiple markets, starting with cloud and data center servers. AMD’s first ARM technology-based processor will be a highly-integrated, 64-bit multicore System-on-a-Chip (SoC) optimized for the dense, energy-efficient servers that now dominate the largest data centers and power the modern computing experience. The first ARM technology-based AMD Opteron™ processor is targeted for production in 2014 and will integrate the AMD SeaMicro Freedom™ supercompute fabric, the industry’s premier high-performance fabric.
AMD’s new design initiative addresses the growing demand to deliver better performance-per-watt for dense cloud computing solutions. Just as AMD introduced the industry’s first mainstream 64-bit x86 server solution with the AMD Opteron processor in 2003, AMD will be the only processor provider bridging the x86 and 64-bit ARM ecosystems to enable new levels of flexibility and drive optimal performance and power-efficiency for a range of enterprise workloads.
“AMD led the data center transition to mainstream 64-bit computing with AMD64, and with our ambidextrous strategy we will again lead the next major industry inflection point by driving the widespread adoption of energy-efficient 64-bit server processors based on both the x86 and ARM architectures,” said Rory Read, president and chief executive officer, AMD. “Through our collaboration with ARM, we are building on AMD’s rich IP portfolio, including our deep 64-bit processor knowledge and industry-leading AMD SeaMicro Freedom supercompute fabric, to offer the most flexible and complete processing solutions for the modern data center.”
“The industry needs to continuously innovate across markets to meet customers’ ever-increasing demands, and ARM and our partners are enabling increasingly energy-efficient computing solutions to address these needs,” said Warren East, chief executive officer, ARM. “By collaborating with ARM, AMD is able to leverage its extraordinary portfolio of IP, including its AMD Freedom supercompute fabric, with ARM 64-bit processor cores to build solutions that deliver on this demand and transform the industry.”
The explosion of the data center has brought with it an opportunity to optimize compute with vastly different solutions. AMD is providing a compute ecosystem filled with choice, offering solutions based on AMD Opteron x86 CPUs, new server-class Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) that leverage Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA), and new 64-bit ARM-based solutions.
This strategic partnership with ARM represents the next phase of AMD’s strategy to drive ambidextrous solutions in emerging mega data center solutions. In March, AMD announced the acquisition of SeaMicro, the leader in high-density, energy-efficient servers. With this announcement, AMD will integrate the AMD SeaMicro Freedom fabric across its leadership AMD Opteron x86- and ARM technology-based processors that will enable hundreds, or even thousands of processor clusters to be linked together to provide the most energy-efficient solutions.
“Over the past decade the computer industry has coalesced around two high-volume processor architectures – x86 for personal computers and servers, and ARM for mobile devices,” observed Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at Insight 64. “Over the next decade, the purveyors of these established architectures will each seek to extend their presence into market segments dominated by the other. The path on which AMD has now embarked will allow it to offer products based on both x86 and ARM architectures, a capability no other semiconductor manufacturer can likely match.”
At an event hosted by AMD in San Francisco, representatives from Amazon, Dell, Facebook and Red Hat participated in a panel discussion on opportunities created by ARM server solutions from AMD. A replay of the event can be found here as of 5 p.m. PDT, Oct. 29
Supporting Quotes from Industry LeadersDell
“With its planned 64-bit ARM solutions, AMD brings the experience of a proven enterprise CPU provider to the ARM ecosystem," said Jimmy Pike, vice president and senior fellow of the Dell Data Center Solutions group. "ARM has the promise of being a serious player in areas like web front-end servers and as a worker node in a Hadoop environment. AMD's opportunity is to deliver serious value in performance-per-dollar and performance-per watt-where low-power server platforms running massively scale out workloads can shine. The availability of 64-bit ARM solutions is an essential milestone needed to accelerate enterprise adoption of this technology.”
“In order to handle evolving workloads, business demands and the information explosion, enterprises are looking for flexible compute solutions that drive optimal performance and reduced energy consumption,” said Paul Santeler, vice president and general manager, Hyperscale Business Unit, Industry Standard Servers and Software, HP. "As part of HP's Pathfinder Program, AMD and HP are continuing their decade-long relationship to innovate power-efficient computing with the development of a rich ecosystem of highly energy-efficient, dense server technology.”
“The ecosystem for hyperscale computing is starting to take shape as workloads quickly evolve. Red Hat and AMD have been at the forefront of this movement, and today we are announcing our collaboration efforts to support the next-generation ARM-powered 64-bit architecture, ARMv8,” said Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architect, Red Hat. “This is only the first step, and we’re excited about sharing our enterprise Linux expertise with AMD and the ecosystem as they are striving to become a disruptive force for choice in the emerging ARM-based server market. As part of this effort, Red Hat’s ARM team is looking forward to supporting AMD’s processors in a future release of Fedora, our community-powered Linux distribution.”
Fact Sheet: AMD to Offer 64-bit ARM Processors
October 29, 2012
- AMD will transform data center computing by becoming the first company to offer both 64-bit ARM and x86 server processors, starting with the server market.
- Just as AMD introduced the industry’s first mainstream 64-bit x86 server solution with the AMD Opteron™ processor in 2003, AMD will be the only processor provider bridging the x86 and 64-bit ARM ecosystems to enable new levels of flexibility and drive optimal performance and power efficiency for a range of enterprise workloads.
- AMD is uniquely positioned based on deep 64-bit processor
knowledge, years of server development experience, and industry-leading
AMD SeaMicro Freedom™ supercompute fabric to offer the most flexible and
complete processing solutions for the modern data center.
- AMD will integrate the AMD SeaMicro Freedom fabric across its leadership AMD Opteron x86- and ARM technology-based processors to enable hundreds or even thousands of processor clusters to be linked together to provide the most energy-efficient solutions.
- AMD’s first ARM-based server CPU is targeted for production in 2014.
- AMD remains committed to the x86 architecture.
- AMD will provide a compute ecosystem filled with choice, offering solutions based on AMD Opteron x86 processors, server-class APUs that leverage Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA), and new 64-bit ARM-based solutions.
Why ARM, Why Now?
- AMD and ARM share a common vision of where the industry is going and the opportunities to disrupt the status quo. Our two companies have been working together for some time on what we are announcing today, and there is a lot more that we can do together.
- Cloud computing is the killer app, and the data center is the backbone of cloud services. Within the data center, dense computing is the fastest growing server segment and is increasingly dominated by small and highly parallelized workloads that are not ideal for traditional server architectures.
- This move clearly represents AMD’s commitment to the data center and the next phase of AMD’s strategy to provide the most flexible solutions for mega data centers.
Top Questions and FactsQ: Will AMD exclusively offer ARM-based processors moving forward?
A: No. AMD remains committed to x86. We intend to continue to offer choice and offer customers the best architecture for their workloads.
Q: Will your ARM-based server CPUs be branded as AMD Opteron products?
Q: Will AMD increase its investment in software developers as part of its new server strategy?
A: Yes. AMD recognizes that adoption of ARM along with x86 and taking advantage of heterogeneous compute capabilities that utilize CPU, GPU, and hardware workload acceleration is even more of a software effort than it is a hardware effort.
Q: How long has AMD had an ARM 64-bit license?
A: AMD has been working with ARM for more than a year now on a variety of different projects.
Q: Why server first? Why not try to bring a client solution to market quickly to take advantage of Windows RT?
A: The dense and cloud server markets represent the most immediate growth opportunity for AMD to offer a differentiated solution based on our unique IP and experience. Large data center annual CAPEX spend is growing at 33.3 percent (Capital IQ), and AMD has unique IP and an ability to provide customers with disruptive technologies and choice in this space.
Q: Will you offer ARM-based CPUs for client as well?
A: We view ARM as a strategic partner and expect that our relationship will continue to grow over time. Today we are focused on the immediate opportunity for ARM in the server space where we believe AMD can provide a unique leadership solution.
Q: Are your current OEM partners supportive of this new server strategy?
A: Our intention to build ARM-based server processors is very much customer driven and our customers see the benefits in being able to offer their customers choice.
Data taken from http://www.amd.com/us/press-releases/Pages/press-release-2012Oct29.aspx, http://www.amd.com/us/aboutamd/newsroom/Pages/fact-sheet-2012oct29.aspx (accessed on Jan 14, 2013) Share this post on AMD Bridge both x86 and ARM Processors for Data Center