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AMD Focuses on the Enterprise Market with Its EPYC Server CPUs

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AMD boosts adoption of EPYC server CPUs

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is looking to boost its EESC (Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom) business by growing its share of the high-margin data center market. In 2017, it launched its 14nm (nanometer) EPYC server CPUs (central processing units), which compete with Intel’s (INTC) 14nm Xeon server CPUs.

AMD’s EPYC received a good response from server OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) such as Cisco and Dell, cloud companies, and oil and gas, healthcare, and aerospace enterprises. Most customers used EPYC for data analytics and general-purpose virtualized workloads.

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During AMD’s third-quarter earnings call, CEO Lisa Su stated that the highest demand was for its premium 24- and 32-core EPYC CPUs for cloud, virtualization, and HPC (high-performance computing) workloads. She stated that more Tier-1 cloud service providers could deploy EPYC processors in the fourth quarter.

AMD is engaged with Oracle for general-purpose cloud workloads, and with Microsoft (MSFT) for HPC workloads. AMD’s EPYC processors are also set to be deployed in Atos’s upcoming BullSequana X range of supercomputers in 2019.

AMD’s next-generation Rome EPYC 2 processors

On one side, AMD has been boosting the adoption of its first-generation EPYC CPUs, and on the other side, its research and development team is sampling EPYC 2 server CPUs. These CPUs, codenamed “Rome,” are to be built on TSMC’s (TSM) 7nm (nanometer) node and set to launch in early 2019. With Rome, AMD could overtake Intel, which is still stuck on the 14nm node and unlikely to launch its competitive 10nm server CPUs before 2020.

AMD’s 7nm Rome could fit twice as many as transistors in the same space as Intel’s 14nm Xeon. Rome is set to have 64 cores and 128 threads per socket, all connected by Infinity Fabric to make inter-chip and memory communication faster.

Responding to AMD’s competition, Intel launched a new class of Xeon Scalable processors, codenamed “Cascade Lake.” They have 48 cores and offer support for 12 channels of DDR4 RAM (double data rate random access memory), whereas AMD’s first-generation EPYC processors have just 32 cores. Next, well see how AMD plans to tackle competition in the data center market.

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