AMD Gunning for Intel with EPYC Datacenter Chips

It's not just the folks at AMD who hope that that the company's Epyc server processor, officially launched Tuesday, will break Intel's stranglehold on the data-center chip market. With regard to the latter, EPYC is going to have some challenges in HPC environments, but AMD definitely has a case to make for its use there.

The EPYC processors launched this week come with 8 to 32 cores, and like their Xeon rivals, can execute two threads per core.

Yesterday AMD launched its long awaited re-entry into the x86 server market. This SKU has a base clock of 2.2 Ghz and an all core boost clock of 3.2 Ghz paired with a 180 Watt TDP.

AMD's stock AMD, +7.48% ran up 8.3% in midday trade, putting it on course to close at the highest level since May 1.

EPYC also features built-in hardware memory encryption specifically created to protect virtual machines and containers from each other.

Democrats call secret health care talks outrageous
Asked whether he has seen the bill, Arizona Republican John McCain said on Tuesday: "No, nor have I met any American that has". Grassley also told reporters that big social reforms result from bipartisanship and the Affordable Care Act was partisan.

Supermicro announces availability of 1U and 2U Ultra dual-socket A+ Servers, architected to deliver unrivaled performance, flexibility, scalability, and serviceability required for demanding Enterprise mission critical environments and workloads. Socket-to-socket communication is up to 152 GB/second, while memory bandwidth tops out at 171 GB/sec. AMD has stated that due to EPYC's high-performance metrics, a company can save up to 20% in capital expenditures by using a one-socket server system, compared to using a two-socket Intel system for the same job. But that's sort of beside the point.

The EPYC processors range has up to 32 "Zen" cores. And Skylake-SP's single-threaded performance is superior to that of Zen. Abu Dhabi Opterons marked the company's last serious foray into the market in 2012, and since then, Intel's market share of all server chips has been at least as high as 99.2%. Not surprisingly, there has been a rush to mine more of these currencies and AMD has been a clear beneficiary here, with cryptocurrency miners driving up the demand for AMD GPUs. In a two-socket server, support for up to 32 DIMMS of DDR4 on 16 memory channels, delivering up to 4 terabytes of total memory capacity. Each processor can support up to 2TB of RAM, or 4TB in a dual socketed systems. "We have worked closely with AMD during our evaluation of Epyc in our environment and see significant potential in lowering total-cost-of-ownership while improving performance in single-socket designs", said Akhil Gupta, vice president of infrastructure at Dropbox, in a statement. And even though Skylake Xeons will supposedly support six memory channels to Broadwell's four, it looks like EPYC's memory advantage will prevail for the time being. AMD's calculation here is that is that for most datacenter applications these days, memory access, rather than compute, is the limiting factor. 2-socket EPYC also has 128 PCIe lanes. The processors include eight channels supporting a total of 16 DDR4 DIMMs for 2TB of RAM; a dual-socket system, the maximum now supported, can therefore support 128 simultaneous threads and 4TB of DDR4 memory across 16 channels. The way AMD can scale EPYC is through their Infinity Fabric, which helps them scale past Moore's Law.

HP Enterprise unveiled its own rack server with the EPYC processor.

Epyc appears poised to change all that.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. AMD has already revealed a hugely strong ecosystem of partners to support the EPYC launch, with the likes of Dell, Lenovo, HPE and Samsung already on board.

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