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Ampere® Altra® - Industry’s First 80-Core Server Processor Unveiled

3 Mar 2020

News Highlights

  • Ampere Altra is a new class of CPU that delivers predictable high performance, security isolation, extreme scalability and leading power efficiency

  • Top-end performance with industry-leading performance/watt and watts/core

  • Scalable to 80 cores per CPU at up to 210W for hyperscale data centers

  • PCIe Gen4 for highest IO bandwidth in market and DDR4 for high bandwidth memory

  • Sampling single and dual socket platforms today to customers

  • Open architecture for ease of integration with other components

  • Product is developed and manufactured on TSMC’s industry-leading N7 process technology

  • Partner and customer support from leading cloud service providers, ODM/OEMs, and software providers

Santa Clara, CA. (March 3, 2020) – Ampere® announced today that it has begun shipping the Ampere Altra™ processor, the industry’s first 80-core server CPU and the first cloud native CPU for modern cloud and edge computing data centers. Ampere Altra is the company’s next generation cloud-focused product, and first in a new class of CPUs rolling out on an annual basis from Ampere’s roadmap, that will provide predictable high performance, secure isolation through single-threaded cores, scalability across the entire platform, and new levels of power efficiency. The Ampere Altra processor delivers 80 cores up to 210 W, giving an industry-leading performance boost for rapidly growing use cases such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, database, storage, telco stacks, edge computing, web hosting and cloud native applications.

“Ampere Altra is the first of the next generation of server microprocessors that are designed for the workloads of today in the cloud and on the edge. The Ampere Altra is delivering breakthrough performance with the industry’s first 80-core, cloud native microprocessor,” said Renee James, Ampere Founder and CEO. “Since our founding two years ago, Ampere’s highly experienced team has focused on developing products that bring significant and unique innovations to cloud customers. Our team’s attention is on solving customers’ needs and ensuring execution that delivers an annual cadence of new capabilities to the market. It is an exciting time for our young company as we work diligently to invent the future of the server CPU business.”

Ampere Altra was designed to provide the features that are increasingly demanded by customers and specifically optimized for cloud usage. The way that the cloud utilizes performance, security, and power efficiency is much different than in more traditional enterprise data center environments. Power consumption is also growing challenge for all modern data centers, especially those operating at hyperscale. Due to the growth in data center use cases, power consumption continues to rise. It is estimated that data centers are currently utilizing 3% of the world’s electricity and that is projected to grow to 11% by 2030. Simply scaling up existing power-hungry CPUs is not the answer to address the need for more compute to feed the data explosion.

Atiq Bajwa, Ampere’s CTO and chief architect, explained that the company chose to build Ampere Altra with single-threaded cores in order to create a processor focused on the needs of the modern cloud. Bajwa said, “CSPs strive to deliver reliable, sustained performance and high levels of isolation and security to each customer, irrespective of what other tenants may be running in multi-tenant environments. Ampere Altra’s single-threaded cores, and the dense, power-efficient servers they make possible, will enable our customers to maximize the number of services they can deploy in the cloud and at the edge.”

Ampere Altra is a 64-bit Arm processor, taking advantage of the power-efficient and high- performance architecture. “The Ampere Altra processor based on the Arm® Neoverse™ N1 platform represents a significant breakthrough in performance and power efficiency for the hyperscale cloud and edge markets,” said Rene Haas, president, IP Products Group, Arm. “ The Ampere Altra, the industry’s first 80 core server processor, has focused on what is essential for today’s workloads in the datacenter, and we are proud to support Ampere in demonstrating the leading technology required to address the deluge of data in a world of a trillion connected devices.”

Ampere has also partnered closely with TSMC to utilize the leading process technology for the highest performance, most power efficient and densest transistors. “TSMC is very pleased to see the results of our collaboration with Ampere in developing and manufacturing its 80-core Ampere Altra high-performance processor, which combines TSMC’s advanced N7 process technology and manufacturing excellence with Ampere’s semiconductor product and engineering development expertise,” said Bradford Paulsen, Senior Vice President Business Management, TSMC North America. “TSMC’s technology leadership and rigorous commitment to quality make it possible for our customers to accelerate their silicon innovations for the high performance compute applications and time-to-market.”

Ampere has worked with many partners around the globe to deliver cloud-optimized software that lead the market in performance, scalability and power efficiency, as well as delivering the tools and hardware to take advantage of Ampere Altra in cloud environments of all types: from bare metal to virtualized and containerized solutions.

Ampere Altra is already shipping to customers around the world, including many of the top cloud service providers with both 2-socket and 1-socket platforms available. Customers are testing Ampere Altra today on their software stacks to drive optimized performance and power efficiency in the cloud.

Supporting Quotes

“We are pleased to see the launch of the Ampere Altra cloud optimized platform that helps bolster our hyperscale datacenter priorities around power efficiency, resiliency, telemetry and security. Ampere’s standards-based approach made it easy for us to bring up our software stack and we are actively evaluating their systems in our labs.” Dr. Leendert van Doorn, Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Corp

“Oracle is thrilled to see the Ampere Altra processor being introduced today. A shared vision of innovation in cloud led to a deep technical engagement between the two companies soon after Ampere’s founding. Today, Oracle is in the final phases of developing Ampere Altra-based platforms, and we are excited to validate the performance, power and scalability benefits that Ampere Altra was designed to meet. Along with that platform work, we are optimizing our software including Oracle Linux, Oracle Java, Oracle Database for Ampere Altra. We look forward to deploying Ampere Altra in the Oracle Gen 2 Cloud.” Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect, Oracle Corp

“As interest for Ubuntu and native applications on Arm continues to grow, developers are looking for higher performant Arm-based processors. Developers seeking a provisioned virtualization solution, such as Anbox Cloud, are demanding high-performance and secure infrastructure that is easily scalable. The Ampere Altra processor with high performance and 160 cores in a two-socket platform provides developers with the performance and core density to scale easily to meet their requirements at the best economics in the industry.” Stephan Fabel, Director of Product, Canonical

“VMware continues to explore new use cases around edge compute, SmartNIC and the Cloud, leveraging Arm-based processors and working with its extensive ecosystem. We’re excited to see Ampere introduce their next-generation Ampere Altra processor. Its power efficiency and the wide range of core counts make it appealing for a variety of compute intensive applications at the edge.” Kit Colbert, Vice President and CTO, Cloud Platform Business Unit, VMware

“Kinvolk has been working with Ampere to optimize Kubernetes on the Ampere platform and has been impressed with the scalability offered to date, especially in terms of throughput and memory I/O. With 80 cores, high-memory bandwidth and flexible I/O connectivity options, the Ampere Altra processor promises to provide an opportunity to deploy highly dense and versatile containerized applications in a cloud native environment.” Chris Kuhl, CEO, Kinvolk

“Hardware innovation is creating unique advantages for technology-enabled Enterprises. The Ampere Altra processor, which push the limits of both performance and efficiency, will provide our customers with a compelling new option to power their workloads. Our continued partnership with Ampere enables us to arm disruptive companies with the kind of silicon advantage previously available only to hyperscaler clouds, and we look forward to introducing the Ampere Altra processor to our lineup.” Jacob Smith, CMO and Co-Founder, Packet

“Lenovo is committed to providing our hyperscale customers with a variety of platform choices to meet their needs. The Ampere Altra processor promises to address platform requirements that enable scalability and performance as customers look to push the boundaries of emerging workloads. We look forward to our continued partnership with Ampere.” Paul Ju, Vice President and General Manager, Hyperscale Business Unit, Lenovo Data Center Group

“We are impressed by the performance gains that Ampere is delivering. Partnering with Ampere has allowed us to begin sampling a powerful Arm-based platform and we look forward to their continued innovation to bring powerful alternatives to the cloud server market.” Andy Chen, AVP of Engineering, GIGABYTE Technology

“Wiwynn is excited to expand our partnership with Ampere to introduce our novel 2-socket platform—SV328 based on the Ampere Altra processor. The SV328 supports up to 160 processor cores, up to 192 PCIe Gen 4 lanes and up to 8 TB of DDR-4-3200 memory. This provides our customers with unparalleled scalability and flexibility to build data centers with the best TCO.” Steven Lu, Vice President of Product Management, Wiwynn

“Analyzing massive amounts of data while minimizing power is a priority for deep learning, artificial intelligence and high-performance cloud workloads. When paired with Micron’s robust portfolio of data center SSDs and memory, the Ampere Altra processor allows customers to maximize the value of large data sets with exceptional compute capabilities and advanced storage connectivity in low-power solutions.” Roger Peene, vice president of marketing and strategy, Micron’s Storage Business Unit

Ampere Altra Features

  • Up to 80 single-threaded cores in a 1P and 160 cores in a 2P platform

  • 7nm process technology

  • 8 channels of DDR4-3200 at 2 DPC, supporting up to 4 TB memory per socket

  • 128 PCIe Gen4 lanes in 1P and 192 PCIe Gen4 lanes in 2P platforms

  • CCIX for coherent accelerator attach

  • Two 128 bit SIMD units

  • AI inference acceleration using int8 and fp16 instructions

  • Server class RAS

  • Arm v8.2+, SBSA Level 4


Ampere Altra is sampling now and will be in production in mid-2020.


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About Ampere

Ampere is designing the future of hyperscale cloud and edge computing with the world’s first cloud native processor. Built for the cloud with a modern 64-bit Arm server-based architecture, Ampere gives customers the freedom to accelerate the delivery of all cloud computing applications. With industry-leading cloud performance, power efficiency and scalability, Ampere processors are tailored for the continued growth of cloud and edge computing.

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Created At : December 29th 2022, 10:08:28 am
Last Updated At : December 30th 2022, 8:26:45 am
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