The first chip for data centers based on Zen 2 architecture

Sales of the new AMD EPYC 7002 server processor based on the Zen 2 microarchitecture started last week. Google and Twitter have already announced plans to use it in their WJLs.

Photos - Fritzchens Fritz - PD - Pictured : Ryzen 5 2600

A few words about the chip

The AMD EPYC 7002 is the first Zen-based data center processor. The chip is based on the Chiplet Design, when 7nm processing units are connected to a 14nm I / O unit. The total number of computing units is eight, each of them has eight cores. In total, the processor has 64 cores. AMD EPYC processes up to 128 threads at a time, and its memory interface supports an 8-channel DDR4 controller.

As for the operating frequency of AMD EPYC chips, it can exceed 2.90 GHz. At the same time, the chip spends 50% less power on one operation, compared with the previous generation processors. Greater energy efficiency allows data center operators and IaaS providers to save on energy. And AMD already has its first customers.

Who will use

One of the first to announce the desire to install EPYC in their data centers was Google. New chips will also be available to users of the company's cloud service and customers of the Google Stadia gaming platform. According to representatives of the organization, virtual machines based on AMD processors will provide an opportunity to increase productivity in the process of working with big data.

They are also planning to introduce new chips to their data centers on Twitter. According to the company's technical director, EPYC will reduce server power consumption and TCO by 25%.

Cray and Dell will also introduce new processors into their server solutions. The first uses EPYC in its supercomputers, on which, for example, a system is built for determining the space weather of the US Air Force. As for Dell, they plan to develop a completely new server solution based on the AMD chip. Last week, ASUS also presented its servers and motherboards designed to work with EPYC 7002 processors. Among potential customers at AMD , Microsoft, Lenovo, and VMware were also noted .

Compete with Intel

AMD hopes that the new processor will help the company select the market share of chips for data centers, which is still “under control” of Intel - it owns 90%. And the company's prospects look promising, given the fact that AMD will compete with Intel's 56-core server processes based on the older 14-nm Cooper Lake architecture. They were also announced in early August.

Photos - Fritzchens Fritz - PD - Pictured : Ryzen 5 2600

But even AMD is convinced that they will not be able to hold a leading position for a long time. By the end of this year, Intel can present an architecture similar to the Zen 2 in terms of performance and energy efficiency. Experts also note that even now Intel processors beat AMD chips on some computing tasks - for example, learning machine algorithms.

Residents of Hacker News in the thematic thread also noted that becoming a leader in the AMD server market is partially hindered by poorly developed tools for evaluating software performance. According to one of the participants in the discussion, the IT company does not have solutions that would be comparable in functionality to Intel's VTune . But here it’s fair to say that for AMD chips there is a uProf utility for collecting information about the operation of processors. At one time, it was even recommended to use it instead of AIDA64 .

In any case, in the near future AMD will impose Intel competition in the field of server hardware. And it can be assumed that this competition will only intensify when IT companies begin to offer the market new chips built on smaller technical processes. In particular, AMD has already begun to prepare devices using the 7nm + manufacturing process - they will be presented to the general public in 2020.

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