AMD Vows Not to Compete Against Its Customers with SeaMicro Technologies

AMD Will Incorporate Freedom Supercomputer Fabric into Own Server Platforms

by Anton Shilov
03/01/2012 | 05:10 PM

Advanced Micro Devices stressed at a conference that it would not compete against its microprocessor customers on the servers market after taking over SeaMicro manufacturer. Although the company does plan to introduce current-generation SeaMicro micro-servers with Opteron processors, it will not continue to design new breeds of micro-servers, but will integrate SeaMicro’s technologies into its server platforms.


"We will not compete with our customers. Of course, we will support our current SeaMicro customers as we move forward, but our focus is to combine SeaMicro innovative IP and fabric with AMD's technologies, IP and solutions, which allows us to go-to-market in a very efficient way," said Rory Read, chief executive officer of AMD during a special conference call regarding the acquisition of SeaMicro.

Although AMD remains tight-lipped about exact plans for integration of SeaMicro’s Freedom supercomputer fabric with up to 1.28Tb/s (160GB/s) transfer speed into its own chip designs, it clearly stated that it bought the micro-server company for its intellectual property and technologies, not in order to make servers itself. AMD hopes that the ultra high-speed transfer fabric will allow it to create ultra-dense server platforms for cloud servers and other power consumption-sensitive applications.

"Integration our strong AMD Opteron roadmap with SeaMicro's technology will provide customers with a range of processor choices and platforms. [...] Our goal is to leverage SeaMicro IP with our Opteron processor to create industry-leading flexible silicon solutions. [...] When we think about SeaMicro acquisition, this is a technology play for us. [...] It is very much possible to [integrate SeaMicro's fabric technology into AMD processors] and when we look at progression of processor technology, [addition of] fabric would be a natural evolution," said Lisa Su, general manager of global business units at AMD.

AMD will continue to sell existing customers SeaMicro SM10000-XE, SM10000-64HD and SM10000-64 servers and will even build similar Opteron based machines. Nonetheless, it is not the company’s intention to develop, build and sell servers under its own brand and thus compete against its own customers.

AMD implied that thanks to SeaMicro Freedom fabric it will be able to offer not only ultra-dense cloud servers, but also high-performance computing (HPC) platforms that integrate both graphics processing units (as compute accelerators) and central processing units.

"Our extensive processing and graphics IP allows us to provide customers with a wide range of purpose-build server SoCs. With SeaMicro's unique technology, we now have the ability to seamlessly pull all of those processing technologies and IP together using a common interconnect. This combination provides customers with a range of processor choices for system level design that can significantly reduce data center complexity, cost and energy consumption," said Mr. Read.

Since Freedom fabric is compatible with different CPU architectures and can transfer data using multiple protocols, AMD will also be able to offer SeaMicro’s solutions as standalone products for those who need them to build micro-servers on non-AMD architectures.