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AMD’s new 32-core Naples CPU will attack Intel’s data center monopoly

Question asked by kingfish on Mar 9, 2017
Latest reply on Mar 9, 2017 by janagewen

AMD's new 32-core Naples CPU will attack Intel's data center monopoly - ExtremeTech

"AMD formally announced its new Naples server CPU today, with up to 32 cores, eight memory channels, and its new, 128-lane Infinity Fabric. Ryzen’s consumer performance may be impressive, but this is a straight server play, with AMD hoping to capitalize on strong performance in the 1-2 socket market.

The company’s strategy is similar to the one it adopted eleven years ago. Back in 2006, AMD’s server business was one of the company’s biggest success stories. Beginning in 2001, with the launch of Athlon MP and the 760MP chipset, AMD had slowly taken market share aware from Intel, particularly once Opteron launched. Its share of the worldwide server business peaked in Q2 2006, at just under 25% of the market. Today, AMD has less than 1% of the market, which is one of the reasons it’s so eager to rejoin that particular fight. Intel’s data center business was worth $17.2 billion in 2016, up 8% from 2015. If AMD can capture 5% of that business, that’s $860 million of additional revenue per year, and it’s revenue that comes with a nice margin."

"AMD’s Naples (that’s the design name, not the marketing brand) server CPU is a multi-chip-module design rather than a unified 32-core chip. This makes smart sense for a number of reasons. First, GlobalFoundries has no experience building a 32-core processor on 14nm, and the sheer size of the die would be a bunker-buster. Instead, AMD has glued together multiple four-core CCXs into at least two multi-chip-modules (MCMs). Each MCM has four memory controllers and there are two groups of four in a 32-core chip, which is how AMD hits its 8-channel memory target. Total memory bandwidth per CPU is 170 GB/s."

At its Ryzen tech day, AMD showed demos of its Naples CPU platform performing a sparse matrix calculation on a 3D data set. When both AMD and Intel chips were held to the same configuration — 44 cores, DDR4-1866 — the Intel CPU took 35 seconds to complete a workload where Naples took 18 seconds. When given its head and allowed to run all 64 cores and DDR4-2400, AMD cut another four seconds off its time. That’s fairly significant performance, though we have to note that AMD released no details on how its Naples CPU was clocked, what clock speeds the chip will target, or even how the two servers were specifically configured. All such benchmark results should therefore be taken with a grain of salt.

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