Ampère’s flagship 128-core Altra Max M128-30 may not be the highest performing processor in the world, but it packs an unprecedented number of general-purpose 64-bit cores, has high power consumption. reasonable and is priced a fraction of what AMD and Intel charge for its flagship EPYC and Xeon Scalable offerings.
Ampere charges $ 5,800 for its high-end Altra Max M128-30 processor which includes 128 Arm Neoverse N1 cores running up to 3.0 GHz, 128 PCIe Gen4 lances and eight memory channels, according to Phoronix. In contrast, AMD’s high-end EPYC 7763 processor with 64 cores that can run at 2.45 GHz – 3.50 GHz is priced at $ 7,890, while the Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 processor with 40 cores running at 2 , 30 GHz – 3.40 GHz costs $ 8,099.
In fact, even the cheapest 32-core Altra Q32-17 Amp with 32-core at 1.70 GHz and 128 PCIe Gen4 lanes is priced at $ 800, which is lower than the 16-core EPYC 7302. ‘AMD which costs $ 978. Meanwhile, Intel has Xeon Silver ‘Ice Lake-SP’ processors that cost around $ 500, but those chips only feature eight cores.
Arm’s Neoverse N1 cores aren’t as advanced as AMD’s Zen 4 or Intel’s Ice Lake-SP cores, but they’re small enough to fit 128 cores in a chip that doesn’t consume more than 250 watts. by obtaining viable returns.
Ampere positions its Altra and Altra Max processors with up to 128 cores largely for hyperscale cloud service providers. These vendors can develop software that scales well to the number of cores (and is less dependent on performance per core) and is optimized for AArch64 in general as well as Neoverse N1 in particular. This leaves the company with a fairly limited number of potential customers. Therefore, Ampere must offer a clear advantage over the offerings of AMD and Nvidia, which seems to be its price per heart.
For high volume white box servers used by hyperscale cloud giants that run a relatively small number of applications, such a benefit can be quite tangible. For example, with Ampere’s Altra-based servers, Oracle can offer a versatile Arm core at a cent per hour, which translates to $ 30.72 for a 128-core per day processor.
Meanwhile, for high performance machines used in the enterprise, a lower processor price will not matter much because the cost of processors in many types of enterprise servers does not play a huge role because these machines are equipped with a lot of memory as well as a powerful storage subsystem.
In addition to Ampere and Oracle, there are other companies pushing Arm-based enterprise processors to servers. Fujitsu, whose A64FX processors power the Fugaku supercomputer (soon to be replaced from the No.1 Top 500 sport by the upcoming Frontier machine powered by AMD EPYC / Instinct) is offering similar chips to various companies. Huawei deploys its Arm-based SoCs primarily in its own data centers.