AMD aims Naples CPU at data centre market
Wed 8 Mar 2017
AMD has finally launched the next and most critical stage in the deployment of its business-oriented Zen microarchitecture – the release of Naples, a 64-thread 32-core X86 CPU aimed squarely at the data centre sector.
Aimed at high performance servers, the new chip is touted by AMD executive Forrest Norrod to exceed all current commercial offerings ‘on critical parameters’. Naples, says Norrod, features 122 more memory bandwidth, 60% more i/o capacity and 45% more cores.
The CPU supports a maximum of 21.3GBps per channel with DDR4-2667 multiplied by 8 channels, reaching a total of 170.7GBps – 30GBps more than the Intel Xeon 22-core E5-2699A v4 processor, according to AMD’s claims.
The Naples units, which begin shipping between April and June of 2017 (and at volume from Q3 onwards through OEM and channel partners), are set to disrupt current standards, according to Norrod, who claims that “two-socket servers built with [Naples] will have the flexibility, performance and security to support workloads that once required 4-socket or larger server configurations. [Customers] can support even more virtual machines per server in virtualised and cloud computing environments. In addition, they can process even more data in parallel, and execute even more high-performance computing workloads that require massive parallelism.”
The release follows the launch of AMD’s desktop CPU offering Ryzen last week. Some speculation has occurred that the ultimate fate of the data centre-oriented Naples ecostructure is tied in with the uptake and adoption of Ryzen at consumer level.
The Ryzen 7 1800X chips have launched at half the price of the Intel equivalent, the eight-core i7-6900K – and suddenly it feels like 2003 again, some few years before AMD largely conceded its long-standing battle with Intel over price and performance, a market defeat exacerbated for AMD by Apple’s commitment – at the time – to Intel architecture on the Mac platform. At the higher end of the Ryzen range, the new consumer offerings are reported to be capable of outperforming Intel’s Core i5-7600K by 70%.