People should be exceedingly excited about this motherboard. At ISC 2023 we saw the ASRock Rack ALTRAD8U-1L2T. This is a mATX platform (well 9.6″ x 10.5″) with a socket LGA4926. That means one can use an Ampere Altra Max processor in it and get 128 Arm cores in a desktop or server platform.
ASRock Rack ALTRAD8U-1L2T mATX Motherboard for Ampere Altra
If you are an Arm developer, the next photo might just be nirvana. We have been waiting for a platform like this for years. This is an Ampere Altra Max mATX arm server motherboard.
Here is the CPU socket where one can use Ampere Altra Max processors. This is the first 128 core mATX-ish platform that we are aware of. Since this is an older generation of processors with AmpereOne coming to co-exist above the Altra Max, it still uses DDR4-3200 and is only eight memory channels meaning it fits somewhat in mATX dimensions.
To the right of the socket, we see SlimSAS connectors for additional PCIe connectivity via cabling.
On the subject of PCIe connectivity, we have 4x PCIe Gen4 x16 slots, so there is quite a bit here.
We also see the ASPEED AST2500 BMC next to the slots.
For boot devices, there are two M.2 slots onboard.
The top left corner is unusually interesting. There is a big heatsink for the Intel X550 10Gbase-T controller as well as two Oculink ports for more connectivity.
Here is the spec sheet for the motherboard:
There is a lot there.
Put this very high on the list of server motherboards we hope to review one day. One of the big challenges will also be heatsinks as the ecosystem around those is not enormous. Still we would love to have one of these in the lab since it would mean a 128-core compact mATX platform. We have been waiting for a standards-compliant NUC-like box for years. Now we have maybe something not as small, but a reasonable size that one can use reasonable cases for. This is going to be a big product for the Arm development community.
While we saw this at ISC earlier in the week, hopefully we get a shipping timeline update at Computex.