AMD Introduces Modular "Roadrunner" Server Platform That Simplifies Data Centers

AMD’s Open 3.0 Platform to Let IT Professionals to Quickly Optimize Servers for Specific Workloads

by Anton Shilov
01/16/2013 | 10:07 PM

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday introduced AMD Open 3.0 platform (formerly code-named Roadrunner), a radical rethinking of the server mainboard. AMD Open 3.0 enables substantial gains in computing flexibility, efficiency and operating cost by simplifying motherboard design with a single base product to address multiple enterprise workloads, including high-performance computing, cloud infrastructure and storage.


“We became involved with the Open Compute Project very early as we saw a pervasive demand for simplified, energy efficient servers. 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,” said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager of servers at AMD.

Today’s servers are designed with a “one size fits most” approach incorporating many features and capabilities that can inefficiently utilize space and power, increasing cost. Many mega data centers have engineers developing optimized platforms with the minimum set of components for specific workloads. The desired result is a tailored solution with the ideal combination of power, space and cost. The AMD Open 3.0 platform is designed to easily enable IT professionals to “right size” the server to meet specific compute requirements.

AMD Open 3.0, powered by the recently announced AMD Opteron 6300-series processors, can be installed in all standard 19” rack environments without modification, as well as in Open Rack environments. The AMD Open 3.0 motherboard is a 16”*16.7” board designed to fit into 1U, 1.5U, 2U or 3U rack height servers. It features two AMD Opteron 6300-series processors, each with 12 memory sockets (four channels with three DIMMs each), six Serial ATA 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, one serial port and two USB ports. Specific PCI Express card support is dependent on usage case and chassis height.

The Roadrunner/Open 3.0 motherboard has been designed to be easily leveraged to support the HPC, general purpose, and storage configurations. All of the three use cases will be built around the same core design, but a few changes in both component population and the PCB will be made to optimize the design for the given application. The Base Model PCB will support two tunnel chips and 3DIMM per channel. Changes for the other configurations are listed below.

Pre-production AMD Open 3.0 systems are currently available to select customers. Production systems from Quanta Computer and Tyan are expected to be available through Avnet Electronics Marketing, Penguin Computing and other system integrators before the end of Q1 2013.