Ampere has a new member of the family, the Ampere Altra MAX that is designed to offer even more cores in a single socket than its 80-core predecessor. These new chips will come out in 2021 and be socket compatible with the Ampere Altra we saw in the Wiwynn Mt. Jade server a few months ago, just with more performance due to a higher core count. Now, Ampere is giving an update on the progress of its new solution.
Ampere Altra Max M128-30 Update
Just by way of the roadmap, the 7nm part was defined as a socket-compatible DDR4/ PCIe Gen4 upgrade to the Amper Altra from 2020. This new part effectively adds more cores to the same sockets. For a cloud provider, the basic idea is that one can get fewer cores/ threads per socket with Intel, or fewer cores and the same number of threads per socket as AMD with Ampere. The Ampere Altra Max trick is that this is with all cores since it does not use SMT making the Max a 128C/ 128T part.
Ampere posted an update on the progress of its solution this week. Here is the company’s new performance chart.
What Ampere is showing is its scaling from 80 cores to 128 cores. Frankly, this is a good way to show its progress. Moving from 80 to 128 cores is a 60% increase in core count, and the -30 is usually the clock speed indicator for Ampere which would make us think these are the same clock speed. While Ampere is not getting a full 60% performance scaling, it is getting 51-57% uplift which is fairly good.
Overall, it will awesome to see these chips come out over the next few months. The fact that Ampere is already testing them means that it is at least able to produce such large parts. Perhaps the biggest challenge now is building momentum for the platforms and products that will take the chip to market. We covered that the Wiwynn solution is an important step since that allows cloud providers, like Oracle or that class of customers, to build an Arm solution without having to get into chip design, and using a cloud-scale hardware provider. Gigabyte also has solutions in the market. Still, AMD Milan sounds like it has a lot of momentum and Intel will have a modern platform with the Ice Lake soon. It is not lost on us that Ampere is releasing this Altra Max data just before the “Milan Milano” March 15, 2021 AMD EPYC 7003 launch that we will cover on STH.