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A 128-core CPU: High-performance, power-efficient processing for sustainable cloud computing

Designed to meet the requirements of modern datacentres, Ampere’s Altra Max 64-Bit Multi-Core processors deliver predictable performance, high scalability, and power efficiency in datacentre deployments from hyperscale cloud to the edge cloud, for workloads including data analytics, artificial intelligence, database storage, telco stacks, and more.

In addition to being the leader in power efficiency, coupled with TSMC 7 nm process technology, Ampere’s high-performance processors contain 128 cores, by far the most in the industry. These processors were designed from the ground up to deliver on the metrics that matter for modern cloud native applications. Cloud Service Providers’ relentless drive to achieve carbon neutrality requires power-efficient server processors that deliver exceptional performance, and Ampere’s offerings are ready to do just that!

Ampere’s products are single-threaded, run at consistently high frequencies (up to 3.0 GHz), and are built with large low-latency private caches; a 64 kB L1 I-cache, 64 kB L1 D-cache, and a huge 1 MB L2 cache deliver predictable performance 100% of the time by eliminating the noisy neighbour challenge within each core. Coherent mesh-based interconnect topology provides efficient bandwidth with 32 distributed home nodes and directory-based snoop filters to enable seamless connectivity between the cores. Supporting eight 2DPC, 72-bit DDR4-3200 channels, the Ampere Altra Max processor offers high bandwidth and memory capacity of up to 4 TB per socket. It also supports 128 lanes of high speed PCIe Gen4 and 8×72 ECC protected DDR4 3200 memory and comes in a 77.08 mm × 67.00 mm 4926-Pin Flip Chip Land Grid Array package.

While Ampere gears its products and services towards cloud and edge computing, at the heart of this capability is, obviously, a physical device. But unlike the Mythic products I have written about previously, Ampere do not seem to make end products or dev boards for their chips. Instead, this is done through partnerships with other companies.

To this end, I have created an application form for an ADLINK server module that uses the slightly less powerful Ampere Altra (not Max) processor with 80 cores, but this chip may have some advantages for certain applications as the maximum running frequency is 3.3 GHz and the system-level cache is 32 MB, twice that of the Max. If these chips sound exciting for your applications, ADLINK’s board can certainly be used to evaluate Ampere’s processing capabilities in a private setup before integrating their chips into your end device. I will include more details about ADLINK’s server module on the application form page, but to run off a few specs, the module has 768 GB DDR4 memory at 3200/2666 MT/s, 64 PCI express lanes, and runs off 12 V / 5 Vsb power.

Keep designing!

(All images sourced from Ampere)

ADLINK COM-HPC Ampere Altra Single Socket Rack Server Module

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