Oracle has teased a further tie-up with Arm server processor aspirant Ampere Computing, perhaps around the latter's upcoming Altra Max silicon that comes in 10 variants packing up to 128 CPU cores and running at speeds between 2.4 and 3GHz.
"The cloud was built on x86 processors, but the promise of Arm-based cloud computing – delivering linear scalability and price-performance advantages – is a future too bright to ignore," states an Oracle event invitation for an online shindig on 25 May. Attendees are promised that folks from Big Red, Arm itself, and Ampere Computing will be present to make some sort of announcement and take questions.
Oracle Cloud already offers some Ampere-based options, and has invested millions of dollars into the Arm chip upstart.
The impetus for the virtual event next week is probably linked to Ampere's promised strategy update that's due to be delivered on Wednesday.
Ahead of this week's reveal, Ampere has been teasing its next server-grade Arm-compatible processor – the 64-bit Armv8.2+ Ampere Altra Max.
Well-connected Arm-watching Twitter account @never_released today made the following claims about the Altra Max...
From the Altra Max datasheet.— Longhorn (@never_released) May 19, 2021
System level cache went 32MB -> 16MB.
Core count went from 80 -> 128. pic.twitter.com/9ChiaQ8tEA
The different Altra Max SKUs that will be available:— Longhorn (@never_released) May 19, 2021
170W to 250W
96 cores to 128 cores
2.4GHz to 3GHz base clock depending on SKU pic.twitter.com/FulTHEO0CK
(According to vendor numbers)— Longhorn (@never_released) May 19, 2021
19% SPECrate 2017_int_base improvement compared to Altra
… for 60% more cores.
Clock: 3.0GHz max.
System-level cache (shared between all cores) halved.
TDP is rated at 250W.
In case the tweets are taken down, we've preserved a screenshot of them here.
If the leak is correct, that's quite a chip that Ampere – and maybe Oracle – have in store for cloud customers. Our colleagues at The Next Platform analyzed Ampere's product lineup, including the Altra Max codenamed Mystique, here last year when really all we knew about the Max at the time was that it will be a 7nm affair, and will have more CPU cores than its predecessor's 80.
Equinix is a user of Ampere silicon, we note, and the latter company aspires to secure more cloud customers with products it designs specifically for their needs.
But if that plan doesn't work out, another significant market has emerged for the Arm architecture after Blizzard Entertainment last week announced that its mega-hit game World of Warcraft: Shadowlands now runs on Windows 10 ARM64. ®
PS: The Next Platform's Timothy Prickett Morgan has an interview with Ampere CEO Renee James here.