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News Amazon Web Services Takes on Intel with 64-core ARM Graviton2

JayNor

Prominent
May 31, 2019
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Intel's Tremont cores in a server would be an interesting competitor, especially if they used the Foveros 3D manufacturing that they demoed in Lakefield. So far Tremont designs are described for Lakefield and Snow Ridge, but there is also a Atom Elkhart Lake server coming that uses 10nm Tremont cores . The prior C3xx server chips went up to 16 cores, but perhaps Intel will expand this as they move to 10nm. The use of the mesh, as in Snow Ridge, would also benefit an increased core count.

"Considering Intel’s last Atom-based server processors, codenamed Denverton, are based on Goldmont, if the next generation is based on Tremont the performance uplift should be very significant."

https://fuse.wikichip.org/news/2851/intel-unveils-the-tremont-microarchitecture-going-after-st-performance/4/"
 
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rbanffy

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Nov 8, 2017
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For AWS, having a credible ARM server farm is a huge stick with which threaten both Intel and AMD to offer them better prices.

Keep in mind CPUs are only a part of the total server price. Even if those chips were free for AWS, they'd still need to pay for memory, storage, board, power, assembly...
 

bit_user

Splendid
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For AWS, having a credible ARM server farm is a huge stick with which threaten both Intel and AMD to offer them better prices.
I think it's a lot about power-efficiency, actually. This will have an oversized impact on per-hour pricing, since Amazon not only needs to buy the power dissipated by the CPU, but then remove that same amount of waste heat from the datacenter. Over the lifespan of a server, I wonder how the power & cooling spend compares with the purchase price & other overheads of a machine/CPU.
 

bit_user

Splendid
Ambassador
Intel's Tremont cores in a server would be an interesting competitor,
I wasn't too sure Tremont could compete, but then I went back and checked out how wide it was. 10 execution ports vs. ARM N1's 8!

https://www.anandtech.com/show/15009/intels-new-atom-microarchitecture-the-tremont-core

So, it's definitely wide enough to offer some serious competition. ...and much more than previous generations.

The thing is that Intel published some graphs in Lakefield's launch that showed the performance crossover point between the Ice Lake core and a single Tremont core. IIRC, they claimed that Tremont maxed out at like 70% of Ice Lake. However, I think that was absolute performance, rather than per-clock. Anyway, I'm still not 100% sure that Tremont would beat the N1, but Ice Lake will certainly bring it.
 

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