The Arm architecture has certainly come to the fore in recent days. Earlier this week we saw Apple commit to a two year transition period to move from Intel x86 to 'Apple silicon', and Fujitsu shared details of its Top500 dominating Arm-powered Fugaku supercomputer at the ISC 2020. Yesterday hyperscale cloud and edge computing pioneer Ampere revealed its roadmap of 64-bit Arm server chips includes a 128 core CPU, the Ampere Altra Max.
It was only back in March this year that Ampere announced that its Altra 80-core Arm server processor had started sampling. Indeed, Ampere Founder and CEO, Renee James, heralded the firm's "rapid progress, driven by our continued commitment to deliver leadership performance and power efficiency". According to Ampere's press release, the Altra Max will start sampling during Q4 this year. Importantly, the new 128-core chip is socket compatible for systems that might use the 80-core Altra processor.
Ampere describes the Altra family of processors as "the world's first cloud native processors". They are built for cloud servers and optimised for the kinds of workloads cloud server deal with while maximising overall performance and cores-per-rack density. Ampere works closely with its ecosystem partners to enable accelerators to meet specific customer requirements.
At the time of writing, Ampere Altra platforms have already started to be offered to customers. These single and dual-socket platforms will be upgradable to the 128-core Altra Max CPUs. Customers like Cloudflare say they "can't wait to test it".
Looking a bit further into the future, Ampere has recently completed the tape-out of a 5nm test chip for internal validation.
Slide images via HardwareLuxx