AMD finally gets its arm in

We_Can_Do_It!After more than a year of delays, AMD has finally released its ARM based enterprise server chip.

Dubbed the Opteron A1100 series these are not the X86 cores AMD has been producing for years and are designed for networking, storage, dense and power-efficient web serving, and 64-bit ARM software development.

The Opteron A1100 System-on-Chip (SoC), was formerly codenamed “Seattle” and was promised in the first half of last year and never showed up. Under the bonnet are off-the-shelf ARM Cortex-A57 processor cores, with integrated high-speed network and storage connectivity.

The SoCs have up to eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores with up to 4MB of shared Level 2 and 8MB of shared Level 3 cache. They offer two 64-bit DDR3/DDR4 memory channels supporting speeds up to 1866 MHz with ECC and capacities up to 128GB, dual integrated 10Gb Ethernet network connections, 8-lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 connectivity, and 14 SATA III ports.

The chip features an ARM TrustZone compliant crypto/compression co-processor, along with a Cortex A5-based system control processor. Each pair of Cortex A57s is linked to its own 1MB of L2 cache, hence the “up to” 4MB of shared L2 cache listed in the slide. Though the top-end A1100s feature eight Cortex A57 cores, quad-core models will also be offered that have a quartet of cores and their accompanying L2 cache disabled.

There will be three initial A1100-series Opterons. At the top end, the A1170 has 8 cores, with a max CPU frequency of 2GHz. The mid-range A1150 has a similar core configuration, but clocks in at a lower 1.7GHz peak. The A1120 has four cores and 2MB of cache, but also clocks in at 1.7GHz. All of the chips have the same memory limits and operating temperature range. The top two chips have higher 32W TDPs due to their higher core counts, versus the quad-core A1120’s 25W.

Pricing for the top-end Opteron A1170 will hover around the $150 mark it is not clear what the cheaper models will cost.

The Opteron A1100 series SoCs also work with both DDR3 or DDR4 memory types. DDR3 memory will be for lower-cost, and potentially lower-clocked solutions.