AMD HAS unveiled the first generation of its Zen-based Epyc server processors as it looks to take on Intel in the data centre market.
We knew this was coming, and AMD on Tuesday showed off its AMD Epyc 7000 series at an event in Austin, Texas. The lowest-spec offering is the Epyc 7251, which offers eight cores supporting 16 simultaneous threads, and a base frequency of 2.1GHz that tops out at 2.9GHz at maximum boost.
The Epyc 7601 is the firm's top-of-the-line chip, and packs 32 cores, 64 threads and a base frequency of 2.2GHz, with maximum boost at 3.2GHz. AMD claims that, compared to Intel's comparable Xeon processor - which offer up to 24 cores - the new Epyc 7601 offers 47 per cent higher performance.
What's more, AMD claims that each Zen core is about 52 per cent faster per clock cycle than the previous generation, and boasts that the chips are more competitive in integer, floating point, memory bandwidth, and I/O benchmarks and workloads.
"With our Epyc family of processors, AMD is delivering industry-leading performance on critical enterprise, cloud, and machine intelligence workloads," said Lisa Su, president and CEO of AMD.
"Epyc processors offer uncompromising performance for single-socket systems while scaling dual-socket server performance to new heights, outperforming the competition at every price point. We are proud to bring choice and innovation back to the datacenter with the strong support of our global ecosystem partners."
Each Epyc processor - of which there are nine different models - also offers eight memory channels supporting up to 2666MHz DDR4 DRAM, 2TB of memory and 128 PCIe lanes.
Server manufacturers have been quick to introduce products based on AMD Epyc 7000-series processors, including HPE, Dell, Asus, Gigabyte, Inventec, Lenovo, Sugon, Supermicro, Tyan, and Wistron, while the likes of Microsoft, Dropbox and Bloomberg also announced support for Epyc in the data centre.
Monday's launch marks the company's first major foray back into servers and the data centre for almost a decade. The Opteron line of server microprocessors from AMD, first launched in 2003, found its way into an increasing number of the world's top-100 most powerful supercomputers, peaking in 2010 and 2011 when 33 of the top 100 were powered by AMD Opteron.
Clearly feeling the heat, Intel has taken the bizarre approach of responding to AMD's Epyc launch, and said that its rivals approach could lead to "inconsistent performance."
"We take all competitors seriously, and while AMD is trying to re-enter the server market segment, Intel continues to deliver 20+ years of uninterrupted data center innovations while maintaining broad ecosystem investments," the firm said in a statement.
Our Xeon CPU architecture is proven and battle tested, delivering outstanding performance on a wide range of workloads and specifically designed to maximise data centre performance, capabilities, reliability, and manageability. With our next-generation Xeon Scalable processors, we expect to continue offering the highest core and system performance versus AMD.
"AMD's approach of stitching together 4 desktop die in a processor is expected to lead to inconsistent performance and other deployment complexities in the data centre." µ
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