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Published: Thu, March 09, 2017
Science | By Carlton Santiago

AMD talks up Naples

AMD talks up Naples

The new offering, called Naples, is a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) aimed to compete with Intel's Xeon processors, which have recently dominated the PC server market. As per the previous rumours, Naples isn't a simple processor but a system-on-chip (SoC) design with on-board support for 64 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 connectivity, AMD's Infinity Fabric high-performance coherent interconnect for dual-processor implementations, and eight-channel memory - the latter allowing for up to 32 DDR4 DIMMs in a single server across 16 memory channels and supporting a theoretical maximum memory capacity of 4TB. This is double the memory channels, higher memory and more cores than a similar Intel Xeon E5-2699A V4 based server.

The first Naples processors should be available between April and June with volume availability in the second half of the year through AMD's OEM and channel partners. According to AMD, the new CPU will deliver the highly regarded "Zen" x86 processing engine in industry-leading configurations of up to 32 cores. Rumors also suggested that the chip will support sixteen 10GbE interfaces, but this bit of information has not yet been confirmed by AMD. Thanks to its increased memory capacity (Naples max memory capacity is 2.048 TB/processor, while the Intel Xeon E5-2699A v4 has a max memory capacity of only 1.54TB/processor), the AMD chip could chew through this workload in under a minute, while the Intel system had insufficient memory to load the dataset. "Naples represents a completely new approach to supporting the massive processing requirements of the modern datacenter".

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AMD is on track to release Naples products in Q2 2017.

AMD exec Forrest Norrod, SVP and GM for the Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom Business Group, says Naples "exceeds today's top competitive offering on critical parameters, with 45 per cent more cores, 60 per cent more input/output capacity, and 122 per cent more memory bandwidth". "This groundbreaking system-on-chip delivers the unique high-performance features required to address highly virtualized environments, massive data sets and new, emerging workloads".

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