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AMD Launches 3rd Gen EPYC Server Processors

The new data center chips, which offer a 19% instructions-per-clock improvement and feature new security technologies, are tailored to high-performance computing, cloud computing, and other demanding workloads. By Rich Freeman

AMD has officially launched a new third generation of its EPYC server processors offering accelerated performance and enhanced security.

Available immediately, the EPYC 7003 Series delivers up to 19% more instructions per clock than its second-generation predecessors, making it a strong choice for high-performance computing and cloud computing solutions, according to CEO Lisa Su in a keynote presentation this morning.

“Our new EPYC processors extend our leadership in server CPUs, and not by a small amount,” she said. “3rd Gen EPYC is simply the best server processor available. We deliver more performance, best in class scalability, and differentiated security.”

7003 Series products are based on AMD’s 7nm Zen 3 architecture, which debuted late last year in the Ryzen 5000 desktop processor. AMD announced new Ryzen PRO 5000 Series Mobile Processors today.

“With Zen 3, we redesigned the core to deliver our largest generation over generation performance increase since we first launched Zen in 2017,” Su says.

The new product family contains 19 SKUs offering up to 64 cores, 128 threads, 4TB of memory, and 32MB of L3 cache memory per core. All of the processors, AMD emphasizes, provide the same PCIe4 connectivity and memory bandwidth found in the earlier 7002 Series.

In benchmark testing, AMD says, 7003 Series processors outperformed comparable Intel Xeon CPUs by 106% in both HPC and cloud workloads. They were also 117% faster than competitive products in Java virtual machine testing, according to AMD, and provide a 19% improvement over earlier EPYC chips in transactional database processing performance.

Security upgrades in the 7003 Series include a new technology called Secure Encrypted Virtualization-Secure Nested Paging that provides memory integrity protection capabilities designed to prevent malicious hypervisor-based attacks by creating an isolated execution environment.

A new “Shadow Stack” feature, meanwhile, aims to protect against return-oriented and jump-oriented programming exploits by maintaining a protected reference stack of return addresses that mirrors the thread’s stack. Every time a program returns from a subroutine, the processor confirms that the return address in the thread stack and shadow stack match, and halts execution if they don’t.

16 core, 24 core, and 32 core units are available in models optimized for core performance, socket performance, and affordability. Prices range from $913 for the 16 core, 32 thread EPYC 7313P to $7,890 for the top-of-the-line EPYC 7763, a 64 core, 128 thread chip that AMD calls “the world’s highest-performing server processor” based on test results.

A host of AMD alliance partners ranging from cloud hyperscalers Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google to server manufacturers Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Lenovo announced immediate or forthcoming support for the 7003 Series.

In all, AMD expects 100 new server platforms to be using 3rd Gen EPYC processors by the end of this year, and over 400 cloud instances to be running on EPYC processors of all generations by December.

In January at this year’s CES conference, Intel announced that production of its latest-generation 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors, a 10nm platform code-named “Ice Lake,” is now underway.

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