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  • Stuka87 - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Unless I missed it, what process are these being made on? I would hope they are one of the 20nm processes, but maybe they are still 28nm? Reply
  • VulgarDisplay - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    The article said 28nm. Reply
  • richricard - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Where...? Reply
  • VeauX - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Last page, on the AMD slides bellow the "what is it" section Reply
  • dgingeri - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    This could be a great thing. As a systems admin, I can see the need for small, low power servers for local purposes.

    They'd be great for branch offices or small offices who have much of their infrastructure in the cloud or remote datacenters. Imagine spending $1000 on a local domain controller and file server branch cache with everything else remote instead of having to spend the $5000 we do today.

    They'd also be great for a local departmental authentication server in a large office. Keep one as a domain controller in the wiring closet with the local switches for each physical section of the office, and it would reduce the load on the main domain controller in the datacenter, reducing equipment requirements, power consumption, and cooling costs. It would also increase redundancy of the AD domain.

    There are a lot of possibilities for this thing. Virtualization has already taken care of most of the uses it could have had, but lower power servers do offer an alternative to that, too.
  • thesnowman - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Unless you are going to use Linux and run samba for active directory and file server duties this CPU is not suitable. Windows Server does not run on ARM (yet). Reply
  • iAPX - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    The reference design is clearly tardeted at NAS, powerful NAS up to 8 drives, on the SOHO space. But I see an effective way to use it as Memcache server (without storage), benefitting of it's 128GB memory space with a power-effective CPU, probably 2 of them in a 1U box.

    There's also other possibilities, such as SSD + 8core ARM CPU, 2 of them on a 1U box, for MongoDB or CouchDB.

    Beside this reference design, there's a world of possibilities, considering this SoC and it's incredible potential (when it's not CPU-hungry tasks!)
  • LarsBars - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Has Microsoft ever dropped hints about future versions of Windows Server supporting ARM? Obviously they've done Windows on ARM before (Windows RT) but I've never heard any mention of Windows Server running on these new AMD ARM CPUs. Reply
  • LarsBars - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Okay, I probably should have looked it up first:

    I'm guessing a big blocker to Windows Server on ARM would be getting people to convert server workloads to run on ARM that currently run on x64. But I could actually see one potential usage for Windows Server ARM: storage spaces. If Windows Server 2012 R2 (or vNext) gets developed for ARM, we could see ARM-based Windows Server storage devices serving up SAN-competitive iSCSI and SMB storage, at a greatly reduced cost.
  • someone0 - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Maybe, it's all depend on what the market wants. If people want enough servers on ARM, there will eventually be Windows server for ARM. and may even be based on RT. If you remember Windows for IA-64, that will tell you how much MS willing to bang its server OS off the x86 codes. If not linux will steal all the markets. OS for server is a different beast, most servers don't need to run the usual x86 and usual win32/64 based applications. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure why you'd want Storage Spaces. The marketing sounds great, but there are many complaints all over the web that it just doesn't work as well as advertised. Parity mode in particular has unusably slow write speeds, and you can't expand the pool in an ad hoc fashion as was originally advertised - you have to add a collection of drives simultaneously which effectively just builds a second pool. And don't even ask about rebalancing. Conventional RAID5 is actually more flexible in practice. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    The latest Server2012 updates have largely fixed it. Yes, it's slow, but that's for data consistency. If you enable SSD tiering, I can max out my network connection. Or you can enable the ram write cache, if you have a UPS.

    The biggest problem is rebalancing, which it doesn't do. It also can't shrink a volume to safely remove a drive. But a lot of other RAID schemes don't support that either.
  • easp - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Keep in mind that Microsoft has quite a few servers of their own for Azure, Bing, etc. Thats the initial target market for this stuff, orgs that run their own software on big infrastructure. Reply
  • En1gma - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    usb? Reply
  • davegraham - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Stephen, you also have to remember that AMD has separate divisions now (retail and embedded). the Embedded side absolutely could and will integrate into SeaMicro. ;) so, just remember, a dev kit isn't anything more than that....a dev kit. the final integration stages remain to be seen. Reply
  • Stephen Barrett - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    I agree with you completely. I was just hoping they would make a big announcement on that simultaneously instead of the weak reference system shown. Reply
  • BMNify - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    amd seem to have killed mass consumer/prosumer/SME uptake before they even start as these reference system designed 2U kit are being sold for 3000+ USD.

    selling your initial reference boards for to high a price massivly limits AMD's ability to mass produce these soc quickly at a good mass consumer price ($200 per chip for testing and product OEM development etc) so no initial mass uptake, and far longer time scales to get parity with other mass produced customer hardware, remember its an untested soc, and they need to prove its viability PDQ to make their ROI back and pay their bills etc...
  • iwod - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    I must have missed it, why is it not targeting webserver application market?

    I find myself asking the same question whenever there is an ARM Server SoC article. What exactly does A1100 does better then Intel's Airmont based Server SoC? Yes, Airmont, the "14nm" version of Silvermont, compared to 28nm of A1100.
  • Wilco1 - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    We can only compare it with Avoton for now as details for Airmont are not known yet. And it should be a good deal faster than Avoton (especially given it has 3x the amount of L2/L3 cache) and at better perf/W. Whether Airmont increases performance is unclear, power is likely reduced, but so 20 or 16nm versions of Seatle might be available next year as well, and those would significantly increase clockspeed. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Wow. If this a video accelerator, this would be a tremendous soc for a media server/nas.
    All those sata ports, 10Gbe ports(!!!), ecc ram, and better performance/clock than silvermont when using the new isa.
  • coburn_c - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Why are there no 28nm FX products. Why are there no micro atx/mini itx AM3+ boards. Why is AMD walking away from the performance market. Why would anyone buy ARM from AMD when their track record is to walk away from their customers? Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    There's a lot of "why"s in your post. I doubt they have the money to create a new FX line right now (28nm SHP doesn't clock as highly as 32nm SOI anyway). Their performance CPU lines are not popular enough (and probably too power hungry) to warrant uATX/mITX.

    As for the last question, AMD have the market experience and are ahead of everybody else in bringing such a product to market. I doubt they'll have their own cake and eat it, but how they get on here will be a good indication for other ARM licensees as to what they can expect from releasing their own products. Besides, if you can't directly compete in traditional markets, you need to possess the agility to look for a market that you can compete in. That is kind of the point - in my eyes - to AMD hiring Rory Read in the first place, and should be answered over the next year.
  • atlantico - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    AMD probably wants to make sure that the next FX they offer will be an unquestionably worthwhile upgrade. The FX line has been very good, in fact the FX8350 is still the best value chip available for purchase (though the FX8300 is a pretty good value too) - but the competition can offer better performance.

    Like when the Radeon HD7900 line was introduced, an extremely good value GPU, it still didn't perform as well as the competition and many were reluctant to give credit to that line - but the 7900 GCN chip was a beginning, like the FX8300 line is.

    The next major iteration of the architecture must be a worthwhile step up, and I'm sure AMD can deliver on the CPU front as they did on the GPU front, but as the GCN refresh took time, the FX refresh will too.

    It will ship when it is ready. AMD is here to stay.
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    Still don't see the point of this. it's niche. Visualization on a full server cores is just as efficient and offers other advantages. Yes it might be cheaper but if the difference of CPU cost usually is negligible in servers running software that costs millions per year. Reply
  • easp - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    If you don't see the point, then you are so far from the target market, you should just skip articles like this in the future.

    The primary market for this is for orgs that buy servers by the aisle (or data center), particularly those that own most of the software stack that runs on them.

    Such people care a lot about power consumption. Balanced system architectures with a good balance between compute, memory bandwidth and I/O tend to be more efficient and can have capital cost advantages as well.
  • Ammohunt - Thursday, August 14, 2014 - link

    Not for OS agnostic highly threaded workloads. I have a lot of backend tasks here where i work that could be offloaded to say a KVM based virtual environment running on ARM. Environmentals are expensive and large blade chassis put a lot of load them. Reply
  • eyours12 - Sunday, August 17, 2014 - link

    Cool! Reply
  • - Thursday, August 28, 2014 - link

    Is the cryptographic co-processor an OpenCL device, or is limited to specific cryptographic functionality. The latter would be a mistake. It takes an ARM design and makes it more like Intel CPUs rather than the approach AMD has been promoting. Reply

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