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Ampere releases its first data centre chips

by on19 September 2018

Former Intel president is back in business

A startup headed by Intel former president Renee James has released its first data centre chips derived from the same underlying technology as mobile phone chips.

Ampere said the new chips, which cost $550 to $850, have been selected by Lenovo and several other companies that make servers, which power internet-based services.

The server chip market is dominated by Intel, which controls more than 90 percent of the market. But long time Intel rival AMD is expected to take market share in the coming year because Intel has delayed its newest generation of chip-making technology, saying that server chips made with it are not likely to hit the market until 2020.

Ampere is taking a different tack from both and not using x86 but ARM tech.

Ampere, along with rivals such as Qualcomm and Cavium, are aiming to lure data centre customers away from Intel.

Ampere says its chips will come 16 and 32-core versions with speeds of up to 3.3 gigahertz and can compete with mid-level traditional server chips.

James said the company put extra care into ensuring the chips run customers’ software well, as opposed to acing speed tests.

“Making things run fast in the abstract is great on PowerPoint presentations, but it doesn’t help things run fast in your customer’s data centre”, she told Reuters in an interview.

Unlike Intel, Ampere does not make its own chips. It contracts that work out to TSMC. Ampere’s next generation of chips, due in 2019, can take advantage of TSMC’s 7-nanometer manufacturing technology, which is more advanced than Intel’s current generation of technology and is being used on Apple’s newest iPhones and Qualcomm’s latest phone processors.



Last modified on 19 September 2018
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