CHIP DESIGNER AMD has released information on its first server APU supporting its heterogeous system architecture (HSA), codenamed Berlin, and its first ARM server processor, codenamed Seattle.
AMD's server division has been busy preparing both x86 and ARM based processors and it has revealed some information about chips that will appear next year. The firm's x86 quad-core Berlin processor will have a Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU and support HSA, while Seattle will come with eight and 16 ARM Cortex A57 cores spinning at more than 2GHz.
With AMD preparing its Steamroller architecture, Berlin will be the first chip to combine the cutting edge architectures from the firm's CPU and GPU divisions and will be pitched at single socket servers. AMD is claiming it has twice the performance and memory capacity of its current generation Kyoto server part, but the most important advance in Berlin is the GCN GPU that supports unified memory access, something that will immediately appeal to those running video encoding servers and high performance computing (HPC) workloads.
AMD's Seattle chip will be the firm's first 64-bit ARM processor based on the Cortex A57 architecture. While the firm didn't reveal what frequency the eight and 16 cores will run at, it did say that there will be an integrated 10Gbit/s Ethernet controller and "extensive offload engines", such as encryption, to increase power efficiency.
A lot rides on Seattle for AMD, as it is the only well established server chip vendor that is developing ARM based processors. The firm is putting a lot of effort into making Seattle a competitive chip, not just through the ARM architecture but by integrating Seamicro's Freedom Fabric and connectivity for storage.
AMD said its Berlin processor will be available in the first half of 2014, while its Seattle chip will be sampling in the first quarter of 2014 with the eight core SKU launching first in the second half of 2014 and the 16 core SKU to follow shortly thereafter. µ