AMD announced on Wednesday the general availability of its Opteron A1100 series developer kit, and the inclusion of the company's very first 64-bit ARM-based processor, codenamed "Seattle." AMD began sampling out this chip earlier this year, which will take on Applied Micro's X-Gene in the server processor market. AMD boasts that it's currently the first to provide a standard ARM Cortex-A57-based server platform for software developers and integrators. Read: AMD's 64-bit ARM Based Server Processor 'Seattle'
"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 data center based on the open business model of ARM innovation."
The development kit, priced at $2,999, is packaged in a micro-ATX form factor and includes the quad-core Seattle chip, 16 GB of DDR3 DRAM (2x Registered DIMMs), PCIe connectors configurable as a single x8 or dual x4 ports, eight SATA connectors, a standard UEFI boot environment, and the Fedora operating system environment. The kit is compatible with standard power supplies, and uses the standard Linux GNU tools.
The new developer kit also comes packed with an Apache web server, a MySQL database engine, and PHP scripting language. Java 7 and 8 allows developers to work in a 64-bit ARM environment, the company reports.
According to AMD, the new Opteron A1100 Series supports four and eight ARM Cortex-A57 cores. The series also supports up to 4 MB of shared L2 and 8 MB of shared L3 cache, up to 4 SODIMM, UDIMM or RDIMMs, and eight lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 I/O. The chip can also handle eight SATA 3 ports, two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and ARM TrustZone technology.
"With this announcement, AMD becomes 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. AMD is the only provider to offer the standard ARM Cortex-A57 technology," the press release stated.
Developers of hardware and software, as well as early adopters in large data centers, are eligible to use this new developer kit; you can apply at amd.com/arm.
The launch of the development kit arrives several months after AMD introduced its Project Skybridge initiative back in May. Starting in 2015, AMD will be looking to make x86 and ARM-based chips pin-compatible so that both chips can run on the same motherboard.
"The 64-bit ARM variant of 'Project SkyBridge' will be based on the ARM Cortex-A57 core and is AMD's first Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) platform for Android; the x86 variant will feature next-generation 'Puma+' CPU cores," AMD's press release stated. "The 'Project SkyBridge' family will feature full SoC integration, AMD Graphics Core Next technology, HSA, and AMD Secure Technology via a dedicated Platform Security Processor (PSP)."
The company also plans to introduce products based on K12, a high-performance, low-power ARM-based core, in 2016.