AMD officially announced its next-generation EPYC processor yesterday. The new server processor is codenamed Rome. It will be featuring up to 64 cores using the Zen 2 microarchitecture, this guarantees at least twice the per socket performance than the current generation EPYC processors.
AMD will be using a new design approach for the EPYC ‘Rome’ CPU. The processor will be having multiple CPU chiplets produced using TSMC’s 7 nm manufacturing process and an I/O die produced using the 14 nm fabrication process. The EPYC Rome chip will feature eight CPU chiplets giving out 64 x86 cores. This will be paired with an eight-channel DDR4 memory controller with support for up to 4 TB DRAM per socket. Other than this, the chip will support 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes to allow for connection to next-generation accelerators, like the Radeon Instinct MI60 compute card based on the Vega 7nm GPU.
Since the Zen 2 microarchitecture is expected to increase the general performance of CPU cores, the Rome processors can be expected to improve the server performance significantly too as compared to the existing machines. AMD is expecting the per socket performance to double because of the higher core count, and the floating point performance per socket to improve by four times due to the architectural IPC improvements along with the core count increase.
One of the key specialty of this ‘Rome’ CPU is that it is compatible with the existing EPYC ‘Naples’ platform and will also be forward compatible with AMD’s future ‘Milan’ platform which will be featuring CPUs using the Zen 3 architecture. This means the development of servers for these AMD chips will be pretty simple and will allow the manufacturers to reuse their existing designs for the future systems, which is a win-win for both server manufacturers and AMD itself. This also means less money spent on the research and development by the manufacturers on an entirely new redesign and will also help in the pricing. AMD has been trying very hard to capture Intel’s market, aggressive pricing and simplification of its platform may be some of the ways to make a dent in Intel’s customer base.
These EPYC ‘Rome’ CPUs are currently being sampled by AMD with server manufacturers and customers. These chips are expected to be launched sometime in 2019 but an exact launch timeline has not been revealed yet.
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