What just happened? Ampere Computing, the startup founded by former Intel president Renee James, has been focused on creating Arm-based silicon aimed at serving the data center segment long controlled by Intel and x86. However, Avantek is now offering one of Ampere's eMAG CPUs in a workstation configuration.
The Ampere eMAG 64-bit Arm Workstation includes Ampere's first generation eMAG 8180 processor. The chip is built on TSMC's 16nm FinFET+ node, and range from 16 to 32 cores. The eMAG chips are a custom spin on Arm's v8 core design.
The eMAG 8180 is a 32-core chip, offering a frequency of 3.3 GHz. However, that frequency appears to have been scaled down to 2.8 GHz with a turbo boost up to 3.0 GHz for the workstation offered through Avantek. The Ampere eMAG workstation comes in a single socket configuration, offering up to 512 GB of DDR4-2666 memory and can be ordered with NVMe and SATA storage.
Avantek offers the workstation with a few graphics cards options including the AMD FirePro W2100 2GB, a Radeon Pro WX 5100 8GB, and the Nvidia Quadro GV100 32GB. The workstation is only offered running Linux with a few different flavors including Ubuntu, centOS and Linux SUSE / openSUSE. The price for the base configuration starts at $2,716 and goes up from there.