At OCP Summit 2022, Microsoft showed what is a next-generation server for the rest of the world. The server shown we were told was an AMD EPYC “Genoa” generation server. This was part of the Microsoft Hydra demonstration on the show floor.
Microsoft Shows AMD Genoa 1P Server Powered by Hydra at OCP Summit 2022
At OCP Summit 2022, while walking through the Microsoft booth, something immediately caught my eye, Microsoft was showing AMD Genoa. One can see the new socket and the 24x DIMM slots, albeit with only two populated.
Something that may be immediately noticeable is the cooling solution. This is a 1U platform so there is limited height. We cannot disclose the name of the socket, or specs beyond DDR5, and PCIe Gen5 support that AMD has already discussed for its upcoming Genoa platform because we are under embargo.
What we can do however is show the absolutely massive heat-pipe and heatsink setup.
The CPU has a small heatsink over it, but then there are eight copper heat pipes that lead to a much larger heatsink that sits alongside the power supplies.
This is a very Microsoft server design with 10x E1.S EDSFFF slots in the middle. On the side we can see a small Gigabyte GPU that Microsoft added to this server just to demonstrate Hydra.
There are also a number of slots and cabled PCIe connectors on the motherboard.
The real star of this, aside from Genoa, is the Hydra card. This is a card that is a BMC on a card jointly developed with Nuvoton. One can see that it plugs into the motherboard via an OCP NIC 3.0 connector. You can learn more about OCP NIC 3.0 form factors in our guide.
This will have Microsoft’s silicon root of trust and more running. Part of the goal of the newer OCP servers is to be more modular so parts can be replaced or upgraded more easily.
Microsoft has been a major supporter of AMD EPYC and has been a key customer. We expect that as Genoa launches later this quarter we will hear more from Microsoft about its deployment. Still, one can tell that we are far from the days of 125W TDP CPUs with the cooling solution the company is deploying. Seeing 24x DIMM slots connected to a single CPU is also awesome since that helps to drive higher memory density.
We will have more on the AMD EPYC Genoa platform when we can show you the official platforms in detail with performance results later this quarter. It is coming, just wait.