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Sep 11, 2012

SeaMicro SM15000 Server, Based on Opteron or Xeon CPUs - Intel Inside AMD

After seeing Advanced Micro Devices and Intel so firmly opposed to each other, it is slightly surreal to witness the appearance of a product which, though made by one of them, is fully ready to accept and use the resources of the other.

A system capable of using hardware from a rival company is not unheard of, but that doesn't make the AMD SeaMicro SM15000 any less surprising, although we suppose this was bound to happen. AMD did buy SeaMicro for this very purpose after all. Rather than a CPU, or some other piece of hardware usable in servers, the SeaMicro SM15000 is a full-fledged server that supports not only AMD Opteron processors, but Intel Xeon “Ivy Bridge” units as well. Noteworthy about the micro server is the patented Freedom Fabric, which provides “the highest” performance-per-watt (micro servers are, after all, supposed to be dense and hyper-efficient systems), compute density, storage density, and bandwidth-per-unit.

One of the configurations is a server with 64 Piledriver-based AMD Opteron 8-core chips (2.0/2.3/2.8 GHz), which means 512 cores. Since each processor handles 64GB of RAM, that makes for over four terabytes of memory. A second configuration involves 64 Ivy Bridge Intel Xeon E3- E3-1265Lv2 quad-core CPUs (2.5/3.1 GHz). That makes 256 cores. With 32 GB of RAM per CPU, the top memory becomes two terabytes, give or take. Whichever setup customers choose, they will be allowed to have petabytes of maximum storage, depending on which of three different Freedom Fabric Storage arrays is selected (each system is made of ten racks).

In fact, not only can there be up to 64 SATA SSDs or HDDs operational in the system, but so can 64 compute cards (up to 512 cores and 10 Gb bandwidth to each processor) and 16 ten-gigabit Ethernet links / 64 one-gigabit uplinks. Add to that the massive disk arrays comprising the Freedom Fabric (up to 1,408 SSDs/HDDs) and the AMD SeaMicro SM15000 is powerful indeed. AMD will have the Opteron- and Ivy Bridge-based SeaMicro SM15000 configurations up for order in November. In the meantime, clients can get models equipped with Xeon E3-1260L (“Sandy Bridge”). All we have left to say is that the Sunnyvale, California-based company is making good on its word to enable extreme scale computing, just like the US government asked.

AMD SeaMicro SM15000
Image credits to SeaMicro

AMD SeaMicro Freedom Fabric
Image credits to SeaMicro


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