Ampere Altra Announces 80-Core Arm Neoverse N1 Server Processor & Reference Designs

The first 64-bit Arm server processor was announced almost 9 years ago. Applied Micro X-Gene was found in several servers, and the company updated X-Gene family until it got bought by Ampere in 2018.

The latter has now announced the first of their own design with Ampere Altra, an 80-core Arm Neoverse N1 server processor made for data centers.

Ampere Altra

Ampere Altra specifications:

  • Processor Subsystem
    • 80x Arm v8.2+ 64-bit CPU cores up to 3.0 GHz with Sustained Turbo
    • 64 KB L1 I-cache, 64 KB L1 D-cache per core, 1 MB L2 cache per core, 32 MB System Level Cache (SLC)
    • 2x full-width (128b) SIMD
    • Coherent mesh-based interconnect, distributed snoop filtering
  • System memory
    • 8x 72-bit DDR4-3200 channels
    • ECC, Symbol-based ECC, and DDR4 RAS features
    • Up to 16 DIMMs and 4 TB/socket
  • System Resources
    • Full interrupt virtualization (GICv3)
    • Full I/O virtualization (SMMUv3)
    • Enterprise server-class RAS
  • Connectivity
    • 128 lanes of PCIe Gen4
      • 8 x8 PCIe + 4 x16 PCIe/CCIX with Extended Speed Mode (ESM) support for data transfers at 20/25 GT/s
      • 48 controllers to support up to 32 x2 links
    • 192 lanes in 2P configuration
    • Coherent multi-socket support
    • 4 x16 CCIX lanes
  • Operating Junction Temperature Range – 0°C to +90°C
  • Supply Voltage
    • CPU: 0.80 V, DDR4: 1.2 V
    • I/O: 3.3 V/1.8 V, SerDes PLL: 1.8 V
  • Power Management – Dynamic estimation, Turbo Gen2, Voltage drop mitigation
  • Package – 4926-pin FCLGA
  • Manufacturing – 7 nm FinFET process technology
Ampere Altra Block Diagram
Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The processor complies with SBSA Level 4 specification meaning it supports RAS extension introduced in Armv8.2, 16-bit VMID, and virtual host extensions among other features.

TDP ranges from 45 Watts to 210 Watts, and Altra gets 259+ points in SPECrate 2017 integer base benchmark that makes it competitive against Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC processors.
Ampere Altra Server Reference DesignThe company is also offering two Ampere Altra server reference designs with one or two sockets:

  • Mt. Jade Platform – Dual socket rack server with up to 160 processor cores, suited for data analytics, database, web-tier, and AIC.
  • Mt. Snow Platform – Single socket rack server for edge computing, telco application, web-tier, AIC, and storage.

AnandTech also reports Altra is currently sampling with Ampere’s key customers, and the company is working on a socket-compatible Mystique SoC to launch in 2021, as well as Siryn SoC in 2022.

More details may also be found in the press release, and product brief (PDF). Further information about the server reference designs is available in the product page.

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