Examining the Processors Powering Scalable Computing
The market for server processors is changing, creating openings for new vendors. With the emergence of mega data centers and cloud computing, server economics no longer focus on capital expenses alone. Demand for ultimate performance from a single processor has been replaced by a balanced view of capital and operating costs. Performance per watt and performance per watt per dollar are the new metrics driving purchasing decisions in large data centers. Physical density is also growing in importance, driving greater scalability and new form factors such as microservers that pack more nodes into precious rack space.
The market is moving to a new era of where backward compatibility is less important than before and innovation takes the front seat. Intel and AMD—the incumbent vendors—continue to innovate and advance their Xeon and Opteron designs, respectively. Integration, microarchitecture advances, and process technology are the primary factors when evolving these x86 processors. But new entrants are eyeing cloud-computing environments as an opening for radically different architectures or more power-efficient CPU architectures.
Product Information Tempered By In-Depth Analysis
This report covers processors designed specifically for servers. We provide detailed coverage of Intel’s Xeon E3, E5 and E7 product lines as well as its new Atom products for microservers. We cover AMD’s Opteron family, including Opteron X for microservers and the company’s new ARM processor. Other ARM-compatible products include AppliedMicro’s X-Gene, Broadcom’s Vulcan, and Cavium’s Thunder. Because other vendors entering this market are using ARM-based designs, we provide coverage of ARM’s intellectual-property cores including the 64-bit Cortex-A57. We examine what went wrong at pioneering firms such as Calxeda, Marvell, and Tilera and speculate about potential market entries by Qualcomm and Samsung. This edition also continues our coverage of coprocessors (or accelerators) for high-performance computing (HPC), including Intel’s Xeon Phi, Nvidia’s Tesla, and AMD’s FirePro.
This report analyzes each vendor and each product, probing their strengths and weaknesses and presenting key details in a consistent, easy to compare fashion. We examine processor performance, integration, power dissipation, and overall system design. Where possible, we also look at the vendors’ roadmap.
Make Informed Decisions
As the leading vendor of technology analysis for microprocessors, The Linley Group has the expertise to deliver a comprehensive look at these technologies. Our analysts use their broad experience to deliver the technical and strategic information you need to make informed business decisions. And in case you are not familiar with all of the concepts involved in processor and server designs, the report includes several introductory chapters that define and describe terms such as superscalar, multithreading, pipelines, and virtualization.
This report is written for:
- OEMs that need to make strategic vendor selections
- ODMs supplying cloud-computing and HPC customers
- Data-center architects looking at alternative platforms
- Marketing and engineering staff at companies that sell other server components
- Financial analysts who desire a detailed analysis and comparison of both incumbent and new vendors