AMD Opteron A1100 Server SoCs Feature 4 to 8 ARM Cortex A57 Cores

A few months ago, AMD published a roadmap showing AMD “Seattle” Server CPUs based on ARMv8 64-bit architecture were planned for H2 Q2014. The company has now announced the first series of processors that will be based on ARM Cortex A57: AMD Opteron A1100 Series, as well as the corresponding development platform at the Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, California.

AMD_Opteron_1100Key features of AMD Opteron A1100 Series processors:

  • 4 or 8 core ARM Corte-A57 processors
  • Up to 4 MB of shared L2 and 8 MB of shared L3 cache
  • Configurable dual DDR3 or DDR4 memory channels with ECC at up to 1866 MT/second
  • Up to 4 SODIMM, UDIMM or RDIMMs
  • 8x lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 I/O
  • 8x Serial ATA 3 ports
  • 2x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • ARM TrustZone technology for enhanced security
  • Crypto and data compression co-processors

On the software side, the company mentionned it is a member of the Linux Foundation and Linaro, and that several operating systems vendors including Canonical, Red Hat and SUSE are committed to support ARMv8, and virtualization will be enabled through KVM and Xen. You’ll be able to program in Java via Orable OpenJDK, as well as Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby. The GNU C compiler and corresponding C Library have already been ported to the 64-bit ARM architecture.

AMD_Opteron_A1110_Development_BoardAMD will also provide an Opteron A-Series development kit in a Micro-ATX form factor with the following specifications:

  • An AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor
  • 4 Registered DIMM slots for up to 128GB of DDR3 DRAM
  • PCI Express connectors configurable as a single x8 or dual x4 ports
  • 8 Serial-ATA connectors
  • Compatibility with standard power supplies
  • Ability to be used stand-alone or mounted in standard rack-mount chassis

The AMD Opteron A-Series development platform will run a standard UEFI bootloader, and a Linux environment based on the Fedora Project Linux distribution. Other tools and software packages include the GNU (cross) toolchain, platform device drivers, a full LAMP stack with Apache web server, MySQL database engine, and PHP, as well as Java 7 and Java 8.

Anandtech reports the development board will be available in March, and actual servers should be launched in Q4 2014. They’ve also mentioned the ARM solution should cost a tenth of the price of a competing high-end Xeon box, and AMD expects ARM based processors to make up about 25% of the server market in 2019.

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