AMD Launches 2nd Generation Epyc Server Chips
(Pictured above: AMD’s Lisa Su on stage at the company’s Epyc Horizon event in San Francisco, Aug. 7.)
AMD EPYC HORIZON — AMD is launching the second generation of its Epyc server processor family, giving system makers a lineup of new chips to use in their hardware and their channel partners another choice of x86 servers to offer customers.
At an event in San Francisco Aug. 7, AMD officials officially rolled out the Epyc 7002 Series – formerly codenamed “Rome” – of 7-nanometer processors that come with a broad array of new and enhanced features that include up to 64 cores – twice that of the first-generation processor – more I/O with 128 or more PCIe 4.0 lanes and up to 3.4GHz frequency. It also delivers more security capabilities.
AMD beat Intel to 7nm, with the larger rival planning to launch its 7nm process in 2021. The chip maker is offering twice the performance in its new Epyc chips than Intel has in its current 10nm Xeon Scalable processors, according to AMD president and CEO Lisa Su. Rome will deliver twice the performance per dollar, 40-50% lower operating costs and 25-50% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than competitive processors.
“Our goal is to make the data centers of today and tomorrow substantially better than the data centers of today,” Su said during her keynote.
The Epyc chips started shipping in July.
The Epyc Rome launch is the latest step in a remarkable comeback by AMD, which until the release of the first-generation Epyc “Naples” processor in 2017 had seen its share of the server chip market almost disappear. The company in the mid-2000s had more than 20% of the market on the strength of its Opteron chips, but a series of missteps with later generations of Opteron by AMD and Intel’s aggressive product rollouts tipped the scales back in favor of the larger competitor.
With the development of the Zen microarchitecture, which is the foundation for not only the Epyc server processors but also AMD’s chips for client systems, AMD has re-established itself.
AMD’s new Epyc chips come at a time of rapid change in the server market, with modern workloads using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data analytics and more applications going to the cloud. Intel continues to dominate the server chip market, with more than a 90% share, but is facing greater competition than it has in the past. Key among the competition is AMD with Epyc, which is based on the company’s Zen microarchitecture.
Some industry observers expect AMD to continue the momentum the first generation of Zen-based Epyc chips began in 2017. According to Mercury Research analysts, AMD held 2.9% of the market in the first quarter. However, in a report released in May, Spiceworks found that while 93% of organizations use Intel-base servers, 16% also used systems powered by AMD. Four percent use Arm-based systems. Spiceworks officials in the report said they expect 21% will use AMD-powered servers within two years. In addition, AMD continues to make headway in enterprises, they said.
Server OEMs Roll Out Systems
System makers are embracing the new chip. Lenovo announced two new one-socket ThinkSystem servers – the SR635 and SR655 – that leverage features in the new Epyc chips like support for PCIe Gen 4.0 interconnect and expanded security capabilities and are designed to drive down hardware and licensing costs. The servers, due out this month, address such modern workloads as video surveillance, software-defined storage and network intelligence, and support virtualized and edge environments with such features as up to 32 NVMe or 20 SATA drives and up to 16 GPU accelerators, officials said.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is putting the second-generation Epyc chips into its single-socket ProLiant DL325, dual-socket DL385 and high-density Apollo 35 servers, and listed three dozen records for …