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Facebook server project receives ARM support

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Open Compute Project? ARM SoCs? x86-based SoCs? X-Gene 64bit ARM server SoC?

AMD shows boards, Mellanox net sub-system
AMD aims to leverage the OCP process for a wide range of server buyers. It showed at the summit the first boards based on its Open 3.0 platform, a spec contributed to OCP in May.

The boards are based on AMD's 6300 processors and were developed in collaboration with 14 financial services companies including Fidelity. "A lot of customers I talk to like the OCP model," said Bob Ogrey, an AMD fellow and cloud evangelist.

"After the first OCP summit in New York in October 2011, I sat down with some of the financial services people," said Ogrey. "We met again in January 2012 with a draft spec and had multiple conference calls to review and revise the spec which was released at the OCP summit in San Antonio in May," he added.

AMD will consider a similar board design for its 4300 series. It is also approaching server customers in other markets such as oil and gas with the designs.

The approach aims to lower the cost and simplify the management of servers by letting multiple vendors tag on to a single high volume design. The boards currently are made by two Taiwan ODMs, Qunta and Tyan, a division of Mitac.

The move effectively cuts branded server makers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard out of the loop. They could offer to sell such boards, but it's not clear what value they would add since their boards are also made by third-parties such as Quanta and Mitac.

 Open Compute 3.0 board

Figure 2: AMD's Open Compute 3.0 board is geared for financial services with a variant for Facebook.

The Open 3.0 motherboard measures 16 x 16.5 inches, uses two 6300 CPUs and comes in versions that fit into 1U, 2U and 3U high racks, depending on how many hard drives, DRAM cards and adapter boards they use. One variant of the board is geared for Facebook's Open Rack servers.

Ogrey declined to comment on the Common Slot spec. AMD announced late last year it will ship ARM-based server SoCs in 2014.

Separately, Mellanox showed sat the summit CoolBox, an integrated networking sub-system geared for data centres. It includes a top-of-rack switch and a server network interface and supports 10-40 Gbit Ethernet and 10-56 Gbit Infiniband links.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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