NETFLIX IS PONDERING shifting from Intel processors in its data centres to AMD Epyc chips, moving from dual to single-socket CPUs.
One David Schor on Twitter posted a link to a presentation the video streamer held that showed how it plans to hit 200Gbps speeds on a single server with its streaming hardware.
Netflix has achieved speeds of 100Gbps in its datacentres by using Intel Broadwell, Skylake and Cascade Lake Xeon processors.
But to hit 200Gbps, it reckons it needs to make use of AMD's Naples or Rome generation Epyc server-grade CPUs, or make use of dual-socket Xeon processors connected by a pair of UPI links.
While the Intel parts are dual-socket CPUs, the Epyc processors are single-slot CPUs that use a quad setup of chiplets connected using Team Red's Infinity Fabric tech. This effectively means Netflix could achieve its goal of 200Gbps with a single-socket CPU rather than dual-socket processors.
The ace AMD has up its sleeve comes in the form of support for 128 lanes of PCIe Gen 3 (for Napels generation Epyc CPUs) and Gen 4 (for the newer Rome Epyc processors), which means they support higher levels of data input and output, especially as Team Red's Epyc CPUs have a higher GB/per second memory bandwidth.
And opting for a single-socket Epyc system over a dual-socket Xeon is likely to be a lot more cost-effective for Netflix. That being said, an overhaul of its existing Intel-based infrastructure to AMD CPUs isn't likely to be cheap.
We'll have to wait and see if Netflix makes the shift, and we doubt any Netflix user will be any the wiser if a switch does go ahead when they're gawking at the latest hit series to pop up on the platform.
But the whole situation is yet another indication of the progress AMD is making with its chip tech and how it's now in a position to potentially threaten Intel in a market where the latter chip maker has long been dominant. µ
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