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AMD begins to sell ARMv8 Opteron ‘Seattle’ kits to software developers

Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday began to sell server software development kits based on its multi-core AMD Opteron A1100-series code-named “Seattle” server microprocessors that employ the ARM Cortex-A57 cores. At present AMD is the only provider of 64-bit ARM server hardware with complete ARMv8 instruction set support to foster the development of the ecosystem for efficient storage, Web applications and hosting.

The AMD Opteron A1100 is a highly-integrated system-on-chip with up to eight ARM Cortex-A57 64-bit general-purpose cores with up to 4MB shared L2 cache and 8MB shared L3 cache; the chip also carries extensive offload engines for better power efficiency and reduced CPU loading, including server caliber encryption, and compression. The microprocessor features server-class dual-channel memory controller that supports up to 128GB of DDR3 or DDR4 ECC memory as un-buffered DIMMs, registered DIMMs or SODIMMs. In addition, the AMD Opteron A1100 processor has extensive integrated I/O, including eight PCI Express 3.0 lanes, two 10Gb/s Ethernet ports, Freedom fabric and eight Serial ATA-3.0 ports. The chips will be made using 28nm process technology.

The AMD Opteron A1100 development kit is packaged in a microATX form factor and includes the quad-core AMD Opteron A1100-series processor, 16GB of DDR3 memory, PCI Express x8 and x4 ports, eight Serial ATA ports, UEFI boot environment and so on.

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The kit comes with Linux environment based on Fedora technology from the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora community, standard Linux GNU tool chain, including cross-development version, platform device drivers, Apache web server, MySQL database engine, and PHP scripting language for developing robust Web serving applications, Java 7 and Java 8 versions to enable developers to work in a 64-bit ARM environment.

“The journey toward a more efficient infrastructure for large-scale datacenters is taking a major step forward today with broader availability of our AMD Opteron A1100-series development kit,” said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, general manager and vice president, Server business unit, AMD. “After successfully sampling to major ecosystem partners such as firmware, OS, and tools providers, we are taking the next step in what will be a collaborative effort across the industry to reimagine the datacenter based on the open business model of ARM innovation.”

The kit is available for $2999 (€2239, £1775).

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KitGuru Says: AMD is one of the first companies to support server 64-bit ARMv8 software development kit to programmers. That said, it is clear that ARM-optimized server software is pretty far away…

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