Processors

Ampere Samples Next-Gen 5nm CPU With DDR5, PCIe 5.0 Support – Tom’s Hardware

Ampere Computing on Thursday said that it had begun sampling its next-generation Ampere One processors for servers with select customers. The new CPUs utilize the company’s in-house developed custom cores and bring support for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 interfaces. In addition, the chip will feature the 5nm process technology, and the main intrigue is how many cores Ampere managed to pack into its CPU. 

“Today, we are letting all of you know that we have been sampling our newest product, Ampere One,” said Renee James, founder, chairman, and CEO of Ampere Computing. “Ampere one is an Ampere core-based 5 nm product that supports PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5 on the platform. We are excited about the initial feedback and performance our customers are experiencing with our latest Ampere cloud native processor.” 

With its Arm Neoverse N1-based Altra and Altra Max CPUs with 128 cores, Ampere has ink deals with multiple cloud companies, including Microsoft Azure, Baidu, and Oracle. With its next-generation Ampere One processors, the company will start using its custom cores tailored for cloud workloads and featuring enhanced microarchitecture to increase energy efficiency further. Meanwhile, it is barely a good business to make guesses about the new capabilities of Ampere One’s custom cores since we even have no idea about the number of cores present in the new CPU. 

Today the company briefly demonstrated its upcoming Ampere One CPU without disclosing details. LGA packaging of the new CPU looks similar to Ampere’s existing products, but they are naturally compatible simply because of different memory (DDR5 vs. DDR4), and I/O (PCIe 5.0 vs. PCIe 4.0) interface support.

“Ampere is an invention company, we have filed hundreds of patents, and we have developed many unique features and capabilities associated with our products,” said James. “We are also an ARM architecture licensee and have developed our own cores for our products going forward, starting with our new 5 nm products.” 

The launch of all-new Ampere One processors will not make the company’s existing products obsolete. The company will continue to offer them to interested parties for quite some time. Since Ampere One CPUs will continue to use an Arm architecture, it will be easy for Ampere’s clients to install new machines and run the same workloads on all Ampere-based servers, just like they usually do with x86-based servers. Furthermore, maintaining  

“As we are now talking about our Ampere-developed core-based products, we are going to have two families of products,” said the head of Ampere. “I want to explain this a little bit, our products coexist they have features and performance for different workloads market segments, and applications use. […] Customers can seamlessly move workloads between all of our Ampere processors. We do not obsolete our roadmap when we offer a new product. […] Ampere Altra 80-core and Altra Max 128-core are the mainstay of customer designs. In addition, the same customers are adding new Ampere 5 nm products for even further performance and feature revolution based on Ampere’s own core inventions.” 

The only thing that Ampere disclosed about its Ampere One is that the CPU will become available this year, but without elaborating. 

“You will hear more about the performance, the number of cores, and other exciting capabilities of the Ampere One as we get further into the year,” said the CEO of Amere. “With sampling already begun, Ampere continues to move forward on our annual cadence of products as we have committed every year.”