Ampere Is Designing Their Own Arm Server CPU Cores, Coming In 2022
Written by Michael Larabel in Processors on 19 May 2021. Page 1 of 1. 35 Comments

Ampere is going public today with a strategy and road-map update where they have now publicly acknowledged they are developing their own in-house server CPU cores.

Last year the ARM server startup launched Ampere Altra with impressive performance thanks to being able to offer 80 physical cores per socket. Ampere Altra is making use of Arm's Neoverse N1 while moving ahead they have been quietly designing their own cores. Ampere did reaffirm as part of today's strategy update that Ampere Altra Max with up to 128 cores per socket compared to 80 cores with Ampere Altra is still coming this year. Previously we were expecting Ampere Altra Max earlier in the year while their latest guidance is to expect Altra Max in Q3 -- not surprising given the supply chain issues and other factors plaguing the industry.

Details on their in-house core are still light and Ampere isn't yet commenting on which ARM ISA version they are targeting or other architectural details, but they will likely make more information public later this calendar year.

The "Ampere Cores" are expected in 2022 and the company has said they will be manufactured using a 5nm process. Expect greater I/O (PCI Express 5.0?), more memory bandwidth (DDR5?), and other improvements while still being light on specifics. For 2023 they are already working on a follow-up design to their initial Ampere Core design.

As part of today's Ampere updates, the company also commented more on some of their customers. Among those using Ampere Altra are Microsoft, Oracle, Tencent, CloudFlare, Scaleway, and others.

That's the quick overview of AMpere's strategy/road-map update for the day. Ampere Altra is performing well against today's x86_64 server competition while Ampere Altra Max is coming in Q3 and they are confident in their ability to deliver their own custom CPU cores beginning in 2022. It will be very interesting to see the uplift of Ampere Cores over current Neoverse N1 cores found in Altra and how well they will be able to compete with Arm's own next-generation core designs.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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