AMD Roadmap showed “Seattle” Cortex A57 server SoC were expected in H2 2014, which later became known as Opteron A1100, and the company unveiled their Optron A1100 development board in summer 2014, but since then there has been a few delays, the announcement of Huskyboard 96Boards EE development board, and finally they announced availability of three Opteron A1100 processors yesterday.
So there’s one quad core Cortex A57 with Opteron A1120, and two octa-core with Opteron A1150 and A1170 clocked at respectively 1.7 and 2.0 GHz. I was surprised by the rather high TDP at 25W and 32W since one of ARM advantage is low power consumption. But since it is a server SoC it needs to be compared to Intel server SoC, and AnandTech did that against Intel Atom C2750 with eight Silvermont cores @ 2.4 GHz.
On the three important metrics, i.e. price, performance and power consumption, AMD A1170 does not look very good against C2750, with AnandTech estimating the performance of the AMD processor to be about 80 to 90% of the Intel one, yet C2750 has a lower TDP of 20 watts, and the price should be the same for both processor at around $150. So there does not seem to be any incentive to go with AMD ARM based processor… until your look at the interfaces.
Intel Xeon-D is a low cost ($200+) Xeon processor family and was also included for reference. But compared to Atom C2000 family, AMD Opteron A1100 processor has many more SATA3 interfaces, and supports dual 10 GbE interfaces, instead of only Gigabit Ethernet (or 2.5GbE according to the processor specs) for the Atom processors. So for storage devices, including cloud storage and some cloud applications, AMD A1100 could still have an edge over Intel offering. AMD server processors are currently running Ubuntu 15.10, but they are not officially supported by Canonical.
I was also expecting AMD HuskyBoard, which was previously scheduled on Q4 2015, to become available at the same time as the processor, but this will take a little longer with AMD noting:
Targeted for low-cost software development, the “HuskyBoard” is the first product based on the AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor that meets Linaro’s 96Boards Enterprise Edition specification. Planned availability is expected via distributor in 2016.
HuskyBoard page on 96Boards.org website is currently password protected, so they are not ready to share any info just yet.
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