A new Arm-based CPU with 128 cores will send a shiver down spines at Intel and AMD

Chinese bare metal and server hosting the society Alibaba Cloud is preparing to test a new instance type powered by custom Arm-based silicon.

The new Yitian 710 server processor, first unveiled in Octoberwill support Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances powered by a variable number of vCPUs, each tied to a physical core.

Under the preview program, which will only last two months and support only 100 clients, a single configuration will be available, with 4 vCPUs, 16 GB of memory and 3 Gbit/sec network bandwidth.

Alibaba Cloud enters the ARM race

Alibaba’s Yitian 710 processor is built on TSMC’s 5nm manufacturing process and features an impressive 128 cores and 60 billion transistors per chip.

Based on Arm’s v9 architecture, the processor reaches speeds of up to 3.2 GHz and supports up to eight DDR5 memory channels and 96 PCIe 5.0 lanes.

Alibaba Cloud developments will be closely watched by Intel and AMD, who won’t be happy to see another one cloud vendor following in the footsteps of AWS with its own custom silicon.

According to Alibaba, its new Yitian-powered instances offer twice the “cost-effectiveness” of its previous generation instances powered by chips from the American giants, although how this ratio is calculated is not everything. quite clear.

The arrival of Yitian-powered instances also highlights the advance of Arm-based processors in the server market, which has traditionally been dominated by Intel’s x86 architecture.

In conversation with Tech Radar Pro to MWC 2022Arm’s senior vice president of infrastructure said the company expects to make significant progress in the server market in the coming years as its investments begin to pay off.

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“Arm first talked about getting into servers 15 years ago and we’re only now starting to see that vision come to fruition. In this industry, investment is big and it takes time for those things to happen” , did he declare.

“But now we’ve started to offer some really cool attributes that set us apart. Arm-based solutions tend to have a lot more cores, which allowed us to handle the scalable workloads that much of the cloud is built on. »

Whether cloud providers choose to design their own Arm-based processors, à la AWS and Alibaba, or buy from a vendor like Ampere Computing doesn’t matter much to Arm. It’s about demonstrating that Arm-based processors are capable of delivering the performance needed for the wide range of workloads that have migrated to the cloud.

Going through The register

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