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Ampere Computing announced a new AmpereOne family of processors with up to 192 single-threaded Ampere cores.
This is the first product from Ampere based on the company’s new custom core, built from the ground up and leveraging the company’s internal intellectual property.
CEO Renee James, who founded Ampere Computing to offer a modern alternative to the industry with processors designed specifically for both efficiency and performance in the cloud, said in a statement there was a fundamental shift happening that required a new approach.
“Every few decades of compute there has emerged a driving application or use of performance that sets a new bar of what is required of performance,” James said. “The current driving uses are AI and connected everything combined with our continued use and desire for streaming media. We cannot continue to use power as a proxy for performance in the data center. At Ampere, we design our products to maximize performance at a sustainable power so we can continue to drive the future of the industry.”
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In an interview with VentureBeat, Jeff Wittich, Chief Product Officer at Ampere, said that data centers are contributing about 3% of the carbon dioxide emissions in the world today. That’s why Ampere is focused on delivering better performance per rack and more efficiency, as well as good AI performance.
“We’re increasingly seeing our customers realize that even if they’re willing to do it, the amount of available compute they have is really limited by the amount of total power available,” Wittich said. “And so at the end of the day, delivering more performance requires efficiency.”
Ampere came out of stealth in 2018. In 2020, Ampere came out with an 80-core processor and then added a 128-core processor. With 192 Arm-based cores, the company continues to deliver more performance and less power, Wittich said.
Ampere created the cloud native processor category with its Ampere Altra and Ampere Altra Max processors which have been in the market since 2020. And the company has remained intensely focused on fulfilling a commitment to deliver a predictable and rapid cadence of products that lead the market in performance and efficiency.
“These are our own Ampere custom cores. So we built these completely from the ground up. This is what we’ve been up to the last couple years, building these custom cores,” Wittich said. “That allows to pack in more cores, deliver more performance and efficiency.”
Today, the company introduced its newest family of Ampere core-based products, AmpereOne to take efficient, performance computing further than it has gone before.
With AmpereOne the company is broadening its portfolio while delivering further gains in performance, scalability and efficiency. Alta and Altra Max will continue to serve the Cloud along with other key segments that need the highest performance at the lowest power.
“AmpereOne is about more. More cores, more IO, more memory, more performance, more cloud features,” said Wittich. “With our Ampere Custom Cloud Native Cores, this is the next step in the break from the constraints of legacy compute. No other CPU comes close. It is about cloud scale with the maximum performance per rack.”
Ampere One is built from the ground up with 192 custom-designed Ampere cores, large cloud-optimized private caches, and new cloud features aimed at high-growth cloud usages like AI. These features, such as Mesh Congestion Management, Fine-Grained Power Management, and Memory Tagging also improve performance consistency, manageability, and security for high-performance, highly utilized multi-user environments like the cloud. The entire platform is scaled with the addition of eight channels of DDR5 memory and 128 lanes of PCIe Gen5 IO. The processor is being manufactured on the 5nm process node.
“The result of all this innovation is the most efficient and highest performance core in the industry for cloud workloads,” Wittich said. “Ampere One provides Ampere’s customers the highest overall performance, scalability and density for Cloud Native workloads,” he said, adding that Ampere’s Cloud Native Processors offer a performance advantage of greater than two competing CPUs for AI inference due to their lower latency and higher throughput.
With the addition of the AmpereOne product family, Ampere is growing its portfolio of products to address all Cloud Native compute needs – from the lowest power and most constrained to the largest scale customer requirement. The confidence in this product portfolio is seen through Ampere’s growing customer base, which includes leading CSPs such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba, and Tencent, as well as leading OEMs like HPE and Supermicro.
Wittich said Ampere has more cores per CPU than either AMD or Intel. And it is using chiplet technology, or multiple dies per processor, with chiplets for the processor, I/O and memory.
Wittich said the processor can handle all sorts of tasks. The company showed generative AI models like Stable Diffusion running on its processors at 2.3 times more frames per second than the rival Genoa processors. On recommender applications, it can service more than two times more queries per second than Genoa, Wittich said.
Ampere showed off logos for 33 companies that are using Ampere processors or partnering with it on software. Wittich said the company has an edge doing inferencing at scale for AI applications. Other solutions consume a lot more power, he said.
James said there was a fundamental architectural shift happening that makes more performance at greater efficiency the new imperative.
“It is time for us as an industry to meet the moment and embrace change. Our future growth as an industry depends on it,” she said. “The cloud has ushered in a whole new world and approach to software development. Isn’t it time for the microprocessor to do the same?”
The need for this architectural shift is heightened by the exponential growth of compute, she
said, which has resulted in competition for power resources between data centers and critical
commercial and residential developments. “Sustainability is no longer just part of an ESG effort – it is critical to all future compute growth.”
AmpereOne starts at 136 and goes all the way out to 192 cores. The cores are single-threaded cores as Ampere strongly believes that single-threaded cores are the way to best deliver consistent performance in the cloud.
“Delivering up multiple threads per core introduces security vulnerabilities as well as provides a lot of noisy neighbor issues,” Wittich said. “We want people to run these processors at really high utilization. We have 192 cores and we want you to actually use all 192 cores. That provides better efficiency.”
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