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AMD's Opteron A1100 series developer kit is available for £1,800

With the firm's first 64-bit ARM chips codenamed 'Seattle'
Thu Jul 31 2014, 13:16
A picture of an AMD chip in close-up

AMD HAS RELEASED a developer kit for its AMD Opteron A1100 server processor series that features the first 64-bit ARM-based chips codenamed "Seattle".

Claiming to be the first company to provide a standard ARM Cortex-A57 based server platform for software developers, AMD said that the release of the SDK is a "major step forward" toward providing a more efficient infrastructure for large-scale data centres.

"After successfully sampling to major ecosystem partners such as firmware, OS, and tools providers, we are taking the next step in what will be a collaborative effort across the industry to reimagine the data centre based on the open business model of ARM innovation," said AMD GM and VP of the server business unit Suresh Gopalakrishnan.

The development kit is packaged in microATX form and includes an AMD Opteron A1100 series processor with four cores, two registered DIMMs with 16GB of DDR3 DRAM, PCI Express connectors configurable as a single x8 or dual x4 ports and eight SATA connectors.

The announcement makes AMD the only provider of 64-bit ARM server hardware with complete ARMv8 instruction set support, which the firm claims will foster the development of an ecosystem for "efficient storage, web applications and hosting".

The AMD Opteron A1100 series processor supports four and eight ARM Cortex-A57 cores, up to 4MB of shared L2 and 8MB of shared L3 cache, configurable dual DDR3 or DDR4 memory channels with ECC at up to 1,866 MT/second, up to four SODIMM, UDIMM or RDIMM modules and eight lanes of PCI Express v3 I/O.

The processor also supports eight SATA3 ports, two 10Gb Ethernet ports and ARM's Trustzone technology for improved security.

The developer kits are available now for $2,999, or about £1,800, if you're a successful applicant. Software and hardware developers as well as early adopters in large data centres are now are eligible to apply on AMD's website from today.

A lot rides on AMD's Seattle chip, which is the firm's first 64-bit ARM processor based on the Cortex A57 architecture, as it is the only 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 also by integrating Seamicro's Freedom Fabric and connectivity for storage. µ


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