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Thread: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

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    Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Meanwhile we hear that Qualcomm's first PC processor packs in over 8 billion transistors.
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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    SD1000 transistor count.....what are all those extra transistors for?

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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Quote Originally Posted by lumireleon View Post
    SD1000 transistor count.....what are all those extra transistors for?
    The Ryzen CPUs and APUs have under 5 billion transistors.


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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Pure speculation but possible reasons could be:

    Hardware implementation of operations that might otherwise be implemented in microcode
    Redundancy to make up for defects in the manufacturing process
    Areas for specific customer customisation - a sort of PGA on the die.

    But any other guess is as valid as those.
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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    That's got to be the highest core speed we've seen on the ARM architecture. Good to see their designs finally being fully tested outside of just phones and tablets.

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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Quote Originally Posted by lumireleon View Post
    SD1000 transistor count.....what are all those extra transistors for?
    Most likely answer is cache ram and buffers sprinkled around the design.

    Each bit of ram is 6 transistors, the bits are packed in a nice grid. The regularity make it much easier to pack the transistors in tight, compared to logic circuits which are a collection of different types of gate with complex wiring to connect them.

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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    This sounds interesting, but right now it is vaporware, and won't see the light of day unless Ampere manage to sign up a big customer.

    As far as I can tell, all they have now is a design at the tape out stage. In other words it only exists as a finished computer file somewhere. The next step will be to get a set of masks made ($50K), and get them fabbed ($500K), get them packaged & soldered onto some motherboards ($10K).

    At that point they will have a product to sell, (And also test properly). But they won't get that far unless they can convince someone like Google or Facebook to pre-order many thousands of them without any guarantees of eventual performance, timescales or even that they will work properly, because at this point the design is not fully tested.

    I wish Ampere the best of luck. I hope they succeed, and bring in a new era in server computing, but at this point they have a mountain to climb, and that mountain is littered with the corpses of other companies that tried to bring ARM to server computing and failed.

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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Quote Originally Posted by chrestomanci View Post
    I wish Ampere the best of luck. I hope they succeed, and bring in a new era in server computing, but at this point they have a mountain to climb, and that mountain is littered with the corpses of other companies that tried to bring ARM to server computing and failed.
    This is one of those corpses though, from the old X-Gene team. So this is a real product.

    Oh, and I believe modern multi-patterned mask sets cost millions to make.

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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Apparently the Qualcomm CPU has 8 cores running at a 2GHZ base clockspeed:

    http://winfuture.de/news,104800.html


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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lumireleon View Post
    SD1000 transistor count.....what are all those extra transistors for?
    Most likely answer is cache ram and buffers sprinkled around the design.

    Each bit of ram is 6 transistors, the bits are packed in a nice grid. The regularity make it much easier to pack the transistors in tight, compared to logic circuits which are a collection of different types of gate with complex wiring to connect them.
    I think the huge number of transistors is due to integration of LTE modem, GPS, Audio, DSP, etc. Phone SoCs have a lot more blocks integrated into one chip compared to AMD SoCs.
    Even if this chip has 8 cores, runs at 3Ghz and uses Cortex A76, it will still be mediocre. Its only selling point will be good battery life (not excellent since it is 12W TDP now). I don't see any reason why someone would buy a laptop with this chip, other than curiosity.

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    Re: Ampere launches eMAG ARM-based server processors

    Quote Originally Posted by yeeeeman View Post
    I think the huge number of transistors is due to integration of LTE modem, GPS, Audio, DSP, etc. Phone SoCs have a lot more blocks integrated into one chip compared to AMD SoCs.
    Even if this chip has 8 cores, runs at 3Ghz and uses Cortex A76, it will still be mediocre. Its only selling point will be good battery life (not excellent since it is 12W TDP now). I don't see any reason why someone would buy a laptop with this chip, other than curiosity.
    This is not a phone SoC, it is intended for rack mount servers. Did you read the original article?

    It has memory controllers and PCI support, and probably USB, Ethernet and basic graphics (just to boot a Linux console), but it definitely won't have an LTE modem or GPS, and probably not Audio either.

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