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Summary:

AMD has released its new server roadmap, which includes its first ARM-based chip aimed at the data center. This is big for AMD and an evolution of the data center.

Updated: AMD is debuting a new lineup of chips for servers, including its first ever ARM-based part. For AMD, which built its business around a license of Intel’s x86 architecture, building an ARM part is both a declaration of independence and a necessary step for the chipmaker struggling to reinvent itself.

The chip firm is introducing three new parts for servers. One is a more muscular core aimed at the traditional enterprise computing and high-performance-computing market. AMD dubs this chip Warsaw.

The other two parts, Seattle and Berlin, are less powerful and designed more for webscale workloads that can be parallelized. Berlin is a smaller chip that uses an Atom-like CPU core with AMD’s APU graphics core, while Seattle is the 64-bit ARM-based chip that could bring AMD out from Intel’s shadow. The Seattle chip will be in servers in the second half of 2014 and have eight and eventually 16 cores using the ARM Cortex A-57 design that can run at up to 2 GHz per core.

amdroadmap

Andrew Feldman (pictured above), the corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s server business unit, and a speaker at the GigaOM Structure event happening this week in San Francisco, says it’s clear that ARM will have a place in the data center, but he understands that he needs to make a case for AMD as a viable builder of ARM-based chips for that market.

He thinks that AMD’s experience building server chips will help it, as will his experience building out networking fabrics at SeaMicro, the company AMD purchased last year as part of a bid to get into the more power-efficient and dense server architectures. Feldman and I have discussed the changes in the data center — from small workloads to the need for power efficiency — for the last three years. It’s nice to see this vision closer to playing out in the mass market.

It’s too early to say how AMD will stack up against the myriad other vendors trying to build out ARM-based chips for the data center — or even how it will continue to stack up against Intel. But the new chips are a clear attempt to bring AMD into the new era of cloud computing. It’s a welcome step.

This story was updated Tuesday t 6am PT to correct errors about the chips names and cores.

  1. Sorry but you got it all wrong.
    Warsaw has no GPU and it’s not very clear what is the actual update vs existing chips using the same cores on same process.This also makes you wonder if AMD has no 28nm or 20nm with no GPU desktop/server part in 2014. Intel is way too comfy in the segment and would be nice if AMD was aggressive here but they just might not have the resources.
    Berlin is the APU and it’s not using low power cores (Steamroller is the update to Piledriver),it seems to just be the server version of Kaveri so nothing unexpected there. This would only be interesting if they have a big GPU ,maybe Xbox big.
    Seattle on 28nm allows them a faster time to market but power consumption might not be all that great. Will be interesting to see how it performs and if AMD tries to do a desktop version.
    All in all no indication of a 28 or 20nm many cores Steamroller part in 2014 is rather bad news for server and desktop.

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    1. Egads, you are right. I did mix up my parts, and have corrected. Thanks for letting me know. Curious why you hink a desktop version of Seattle would have a lot of value. The desktop market seems to grow more and more niche as mobile clients demand low power and graphics while servers want a focus on mass deployments with the best price performance per watt they can get.

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      1. Didn’t said a lot of value about ARM in desktop but it’s something to watch for and for for.
        Intel and M$ are somewhat alienating customers,leaving the door open for something else.Intel got lazy and greedy in desktop and we need alternatives while Win 8 doesn’t have many fans on desktop so again any viable alternatives would be nice.
        The desktop standards are outdated but Intel doesn’t really care about it anymore so the ARM players would have the chance for significant changes for the better.
        The OS makers also need to attack on all screen sizes or M$ might still have a chance.
        Those desktop standards and chips would also go for DIY HTPC and file server market where price,power and size matter and ARM can provide all that.
        Desktop might also end up being more resilient than laptop and is a market ARM is yet to enter or even target properly.
        Gaming developers are also shifting resources to mobile and ARM so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to have both the hardware and software for proper gaming on ARM (not just tiny low power GPUs).

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      2. and btw i don’t see the corrections,i still see:
        “The chip firm is introducing three new parts for servers. One is a more muscular core combining AMD’s graphics processing prowess that will be aimed at the traditional enterprise computing and high-performance-computing market. AMD dubs this chip Warsaw.
        The other two parts, Seattle and Berlin, are less powerful and designed more for webscale workloads that can be parallelized. Berlin is a smaller chip that uses an Atom-like CPU core with AMD’s APU graphics core ”

        -so again Warsaw has no GPU and Berlin has the best core they got ,not a low power small core.

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