AmpereOne Lowers Server-Rack Power

The Arm-compatible AmpereOne server processor implements 192 single-thread cores of Ampere’s own design in a chiplet-based package.
Bryon Moyer
Bryon Moyer

Ampere Computing’s newest generation of server processors features 136–192 instances of its updated Arm-compatible single-thread CPU. In production now, AmpereOne succeeds the company’s Altra family. Power per CPU core ranges from just under half to less than a third that of the current generation of AMD and Intel CPUs. Standard benchmarks aren’t available, however, so performance-per-watt is unknown.

With an eye exclusively on the cloud server market, the company’s aim is to increase computing capacity in a data-center rack, even if the rack is at its power limit. Ampere has an Arm architecture license, which allows the company to develop its own proprietary microarchitecture implementing an undisclosed subset of Armv8 and Armv9 instructions on 5 nm technology.

The company has had eight investment rounds, raising a total of $854 million, of which $426 million came from Oracle in four rounds. The balance of the investment came from The Carlyle Group; none came from venture capital. The AmpereOne CPU has its origins in AppliedMicro (AMCC), from which Ampere Computing spun out. The Altra family included licensed Arm CPUs to bide time during development of its custom CPU.

Ampere has endowed AmpereOne with features required for headless cloud servers—specifically, implementations where one entity owns and manages the hardware, renting it to customers who may, in turn, sublet a portion of what they’ve rented. It joins both Amazon (with Graviton) and Nvidia (with Grace) in the move to implement the Arm architecture in servers—a market dominated by AMD and Intel with a wide range of x86-based servers.

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