AMD Unveils Open 3.0 Server Platform

The newly launched platform was developed with the Open Compute project. By Rachel Cericola

All data centers are not created equal. Some really need a power push, but don't have the budget of a Facebook, Google, or Amazon. AMD is hoping to deliver the same power, space, and footprint efficiencies used by some of those big companies, but to everyone. And they're doing that with the newly launched Open 3.0 Server platform.

Formerly known as "Roadrunner," AMD Open 3.0 was developed by the Open Compute Project. AMD says that this is the first modular motherboard with add-on cards. That means it can be tweaked for just about any workload.

"We became involved with the Open Compute Project very early as we saw a pervasive demand for simplified, energy efficient servers," says Suresh Gopalakrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Server. "Our goal is to reduce data center power consumption and cost, yet increase performance and flexibility -- we believe that AMD Open 3.0 achieves this."

AMD Open 3.0 promises to simplify the motherboard design with a single-base product. The end result boasts substantial gains in computing flexibility, efficiency, and operating cost. What makes it different is that it isn't a "one size fits most" approach. Instead, the AMD Open 3.0 platform is designed to allow IT pros to find that "right size" and meet specific compute requirements.

AMD Open 3.0 can be installed in 19-inch rack environments and Open Rack environments. It has two AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors and a 16-by-16.5-inch motherboard, which is designed to fit into 1U, 1.5U, 2U, or 3U rack height servers. Each of those processors has 12 memory sockets (four channels with three DIMMs each), six serial ATA (SATA) connections per board, one dual-channel gigabit Ethernet NIC with integrated management, up to four PCI Express expansion slots, a mezzanine connector for custom module solutions, two serial ports, and two USB ports. PCI Express card support is also an option, depending on the usage case and chassis height.

"This is a realization of the Open Compute Project's mission of 'hacking conventional computing infrastructure,'" says Frank Frankovsky, chairman of the Open Compute Foundation and VP of hardware design and supply chain at Facebook. "What's really exciting for me here is the way the Open Compute Project inspired AMD and specific consumers to collaboratively bring our 'vanity-free' design philosophy to a motherboard that suited their exact needs."

AMD says that pre-production Open 3.0 systems are currently available to select customers. Production systems from Tyan and Quanta Computer are expected to be available through Avnet Electronics Marketing, Penguin Computing, and other system integrators before the end of the first quarter.