AMD has achieved a milestone in the production of its upcoming Zen architecture. We have been talking about the upcoming x86 Summit Ridge platform for quite some time now, but today we have a pseudo-official confirmation (paperwork filed by AMD on their shipping manifests) of the roll-out of the enterprise class 32-Core Zen chip. Naples is a big city in southern Italy, sits on the Bay of Naples near Mt. Vesuvius. It is also the codename for the upcoming Opteron platform that will support the 32 core chip.
AMD's Naples processor enters prototyping phase
Naples has been spotted on Zauba's reliable shipping database. The Summit Ridge platform is AMD's mainstream platform with Zen architecture and 8 Core dies. Naples on the other hand is the codename of the server platform; the very same platform which will be rocking Zen in 32 core flavors. This is not to be confused with the Zeppelin platform which will include a 32 Zen Core/Vega based APU as well. The 32 Zen cores are tied together using AMD’s very own Coherent Fabric. The homegrown interconnect will support data rates of upto 100GB/s which is alot faster than what the PCIe interface sustains (around 15GB/s). Not only that but latency has been reduced from 500ns to an unknown but allegedly smaller number.
Thanks to AMD's lego-like build philosophy even Naples will actually be fabricated in an 8-core base design, with 16 and 32 core chips being produced in an MCM (Multi Chip Module) format. Up till now however, we had seen no real evidence (apart from the usual documentation) that such a monster processor was actually on the charts in the near future. The shipping entry is marked 20th June 2016 and lists the Naples Test Board. It is marked FOC which stands for 'Full Operational Capability' meaning AMD has achieved a significant milestone in its Zen roadmap. Just a few days ago, the company has also celebrated their Vega 10 roll out, and this news fits in nicely with that as well.
The shipping entry can be found over here.
Naples will be fabricated on the 14nm FinFET process of GlobalFoundries and will have 8 memory channels as well as up to 128 lanes of PCI-E 3.0. It will support up to 32 SATA or NVME drives. The socket in question is the SP3 LGA socket and the TDP of the professor will be in the 35W – 180 W range (depending on the exact variant and class). Naples will come in 4 different variants: 2 cores, 4 cores, 16 cores and 32 cores with the 8 core variant presumably reserved for the Summit Ridge platform. This also coincides with what we already know: that Summit Ridge would be launching with only 8-Core flavors.
These processors are going to be pit against Intel's offerings in the x86 sector and depending on how they are priced could find quite a market share for themselves. So far Intel has reigned supreme in this department because of the fact that the last AMD x86 architecture (the Bulldozer saga) was quite a few years outdated at best and a train wreck at worst. Zen aims to change all that. Since it will be employing SMT (Simultaneous Multi Threading) you are actually looking at a total of 64 Threads! that's quite a huge number and in absolute terms more than Intel's offerings.
Of course, as any CPU enthusiast would tell you, the core count doesn't mean anything (hint: Bulldozer), what really matters is the IPC performance the Zen based Naples platform delivers compared to its Intel counterparts. We don't think AMD will be able to beat Intel clock for clock, core for core, but if the processor itself is in a similar price/performance/wattage range then all bets are off when it comes to market share. Intel's offerings might be better, but it currently charges quite a premium for them. With Naples processors on the stage and offering competitive prices, the market segment could change very quickly. It goes without saying that for AMD as a company, everything depends on how the Zen micro architecture performs.
AMD 32 Core 'Naples' Opteron Processor Specifications
|Product Family||Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 V4||AMD Opteron "Zen"|
|Process Node||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET|
|Xeon/Opteron Platform||Intel Grantley||AMD Opteron|
|Socket||Socket R3||SP3 LGA|
|Interconnect||N/A||100 GB/s AMD Coherent Fabric|
|Max Core Count||22||32 MCM Package|
|Max Thread Count||44||64|
|Max L3 Cache||55 MB||64 MB|
|Max PCI-Express Lanes||40 PCI-E Gen3||128 PCI-E Gen3|
|DDR4 Memory Support||4-Channel DDR4||8-Channel DDR4|
|Launch Expected||Q1 2016||TBC|