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AMD Hardware

AMD Announces First ARM Processor 168

MojoKid writes "AMD's Andrew Feldman announced today that the company is preparing to sample its new eight-core ARM SoC (codename: Seattle). Feldman gave a keynote presentation at the fifth annual Open Compute Summit. The Open Compute Project (OCP) is Facebook's effort to decentralize and unpack the datacenter, breaking the replication of resources and low volume, high-margin parts that have traditionally been Intel's bread-and-butter. AMD is claiming that the eight ARM cores offer 2-4x the compute performance of the Opteron X1250 — which isn't terribly surprising, considering that the X1250 is a four-core chip based on the Jaguar CPU, with a relatively low clock speed of 1.1 — 1.9GHz. We still don't know the target clock speeds for the Seattle cores, but the embedded roadmaps AMD has released show the ARM embedded part actually targeting a higher level of CPU performance (and a higher TDP) than the Jaguar core itself."
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AMD Announces First ARM Processor

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  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:48AM (#46097397) Journal

    Which is why I don't get this chip. After all they have the Jaguar for ULV applications, Opteron for when you need more horsepower, what good are these ARM units?

    And I'm sorry ARM fans but as we keep seeing ARM just doesn't scale, you bump up the IPC and you blow the power budget, which is why I've been saying for awhile that days of "ARM Mania" will be quickly coming to an end. Folks want their handhelds to perform like an HTPC in their pocket and that means high instructions per second which ARM can't do without blowing through the power. This is why Nvidia is up to 5 cores, Samsung to 6, because ARM just doesn't scale. Its gonna be easier for AMD and Intel to cut X86 down with jaguar and Atom than it is to get ARM to scale.

    So I just don't get what the market for this is exactly. Most server code is X86 anyway, be it wintel or Linux, so you are talking about some serious expense porting it over and with jaguar on the low end and Opteron on the high? Well i just don't see a huge market for ARM servers, am I missing something?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @01:10AM (#46097459)
    These things seem almost purpose-built for memcached servers and... well, can't think of much else. And for a memcached box, all the profit is going to the DRAM vendors. Saw somewhere else that "AMD will take a loss on every chip, but make up for it in volume..." That sounds about right for their business plan, but can they even execute on that...? Will be an interesting year for them, I suppose.
  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @02:44AM (#46097781)

    Its not x86 today, which kind of makes me think you have no idea what youre talking about.

    opting for a horrible stack based approach.

    Im not one to argue architectural advantages, but id point out that both of the top two cpu manufacturers chose the same instruction set. Noone else has been able to catch the pair of them in about a decade.

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @04:40AM (#46098109)

    its unfortunate, but sometimes the best way to drive a screw into a piece of wood is just to keep smashing at it with bigger and bigger hammers.

    I guess this approach is what Intel and AMD have been doing with x86.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @05:22AM (#46098247) Journal
    Write once, debug in some places, abandon all hope elsewhere...
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @06:12AM (#46098393)
    Most server code? Most server code is Java, Python, PHP or some other abstraction running over the hardware. Providing the runtime exists to support the abstraction it is largely irrelevant what architecture is powering it. I expect that operations that are already using Linux or some other Unix variant are well positioned to jump over. Windows based operations, not so much though Microsoft are in the cloud computing space too and this might motivate them to support ARM.

    Why companies might do choose ARM really depends not on whether it is faster than Intel CPUs, but whether it is fast enough for the task at hand, and better in other regards such as power consumption, cooling, rack space etc. Google, Facebook, Amazon et al run enormous data centers running custom boot images and have teams capable of producing images for different architectures. This would seem to be the market that AMD is targeting.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.