AMD announces its first ARM SoC, the 8-core Opteron A1100

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Way back in late 2012, AMD revealed plans for 64-bit capable ARM-based server SoCs, branded as 'Opteron' and set to launch in 2014. Right on schedule, AMD has delivered the first of these ARM-based server SoCs, which just so happen to be the first ARM SoCs made by the company all together.

The Opteron A1100, codenamed "Seattle", features either four or eight CPU cores based on ARM's Cortex-A57 design, which are set to run at a frequency above 2 GHz. Each core shares 1 MB of L2 cache (there's 4 MB of L2 cache in total on the chip), plus there's up to 8 MB of L3 cache that all cores can share. The SoC is built at Global Foundries on a 28nm process, which is the current standard for ARM SoCs.

The memory controller aboard the A1100 is capable of supporting both DDR3 and DDR4 memory through a 128-bit interface, and AMD's reference platform will support up to 128 GB of Registered DDR3 DIMMs. The SoC also features an eight-lane PCIe 3.0 controller that supports one x8 or two x4 slot configurations, plus an eight-port 6 Gbps SATA controller, and support for two 10GbE ports.

AMD's isn't quite ready to discuss performance specifics of the Opteron A1100, but they claim the chip outperforms the Opteron X2150 with its four-core 'Jaguar' CPU on an estimated TDP of 25W. The company also boasts huge cost savings over Intel Xeon solutions for similar memory support, but won't reveal exactly how much an A1100 will end up costing.

The Opteron A1100 will begin sampling in March, ahead of OEM announcements towards the end of the year. AMD are predicting ARM solutions will occupy 25% of the server market by 2019, and the Opteron A1100 is major step to achieving this.

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