Just over three years ago AMD purchased SeaMicro for $334 million to give them a way to compete in HPC applications against Intel who had recently bought up QLogic and the InfiniBand interconnect technology. The purchase of SeaMicro included their Freedom Fabric technology which was at that time able to create servers which could use Atom or Xeon chips in the same infrastructure. AMD developed compatibility with their existing Opteron chips and it was thought that this would be a perfect platform to launch Seattle, their hybrid 64bit ARM chips on. Unfortunately with the poor revenue that AMD has seen means that the SeaMicro server division is being cut so they can focus on their other products. Lisa Su obviously has more information that we do on the performance of AMD but it seems counter-intuitive to shut down the only business segment to make positive income, but as The Register points out the $45m which they made is down almost 50% from this time last year. AMD will keep the fabric patents but as of now we do not know if they are looking to sell their server business, license the patents or follow some other business plan.
"Tattered AMD says it's done with its SeaMicro server division, following a grim quarter that saw the ailing chipmaker weather losses beyond the expectations of even the gloomiest of Wall Street analysts."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD: Windows 10 will launch in late July @ The Inquirer
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- MSI Preparing SFF-8639 Adapter Card for Motherboards @ Kitguru
- TSMC to open new fab for 10nm manufacturing in mid-2016, says chairman @ DigiTimes
- GNOME 3.16: The Sleekest Linux Desktop to Date @ Linux.com
- Trials & Tribulations: Installing Gentoo Linux With GNOME & Systemd @ Techgage
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway
- NikKTech & FSP Group Spring Worldwide Giveaway
SeaMicro is going(for now),
SeaMicro is going(for now), but that freedom fabric, and other IP, will be used on AMD based server products, it’s just that the complete systems will not be coming from AMD’s SeaMicro. Expect AMD to license the IP, or Make/integrate the SeaMicro freedom fabric into its motherboard server/SOC products, and whatever third party server system OEMs to use AMDs IP.
The Freedom fabric IP alone was probably worth the purchase of SeaMicro, and even though AMD has shuttered the business, there is still a customer base that will need to be supported until they can be switched to a third party server supplier. I guess that AMD decided to cut their losses with all the competition from HP and others, but that freedom fabric coherent interconnect IP is very valuable to keep, and utilize for AMD. AMD could always at a later time restart SeaMicro, but AMD probably wants to focus on its core business, and the competition and Margins probably did not justify remaining in the high density server business as an OEM. AMD will be selling Motherboards/Chipsets, and the actual CPU/APU server SKUs, so I would think that SeaMicro’s closing will not stop the SkyBridge Motherboard technology, and the freedom fabric IP from being utilized in AMD based parts for third party server builders.
Sounds like Hungarian Abu85
Sounds like Hungarian Abu85 from prohardver. Just for the record, the business does not work always as predicted.
Never heard of prohardver, or
Never heard of prohardver, or Abu85(Hungarian, or whatever)! So AMD gets some valuable IP, and gets out of the high density server OEM business, it’s not like AMD needs the costs of running against Lenovo or HP, or others that have the money and can afford some low margins to get market share. AMD still has all the important server parts business products, like motherboard chipsets and server CPUs/APUs, and the Freedom Fabric and other server IP, and the New Zen and K12 server products on the way. Maybe if the K12 custom ARMv8 SOC/APU takes advantage of SMT, then AMD will be at advantage over the entire ARM based server market, I do not see a K12 custom ARM server SKU with SMT, and multiple processor threads per core with any equivalent in the ARM based market. AMD’s K12 custom ARM cores may be just what HP wants for its high density servers, and a custom ARM core able to take advantage of SMT for higher performance in a smaller area will be very popular. AMD can only focus on its core business, CPUs/APUs, and graphics processors/accelerators, they do not have the funds for any side businesses that can not compete in the marketplace.
To many folks assuming that just because AMD gets out of an OEM business like SeaMicro that AMD has to not stay in the server parts business, and supplying server SKUs, and motherboard chipsets(SkyBridge, others) is still going to make AMD money, even if the name on the server box says HP, or other’s. That Freedom Fabric is very fast and coherent so the IP will be incorporated into AMD’s product line for the third party OEMs, who do not have the resources of the bigger players in the dense server business.
AMD’s custom Zen products, if they can even reach Sandy Bridge levels of IPC/Performance will get AMD some business in the affordable server market. Both AMD, and Intel, are going to get it form above with the third party licensed Power8’s server products hitting the server market, so AMD will have to be able to price its x86 lower than the third party Power8 suppliers. AMD server SKUs have always been more affordable than Intel’s server product. AMD’s entire line of custom ARM(K12) and x86(Zen) will give AMD a line of products that can scale from the Tablet(K12 based), up the server, both K12(dense server), and Zen(high Powered server).
AMD in having its own custom ARM microarchitecture will not have to go through the engineering troubles that Intel is going through, trying to make its Atom x86 line of SKUs fit the power usage profile of the ARM RISC designs that dominate the mobile market, and the Atom line is fabricated on a smaller process node, and still has trouble competing on power usage and performance with the ARM based competition fabricated on a larger process node size. AMD will be part of that ARM based market in mobile, and it’s the custom ARM microarchitecture chips like Apple’s A8, and other’s that are dominating the tablet market. An AMD custom ARMv8 based APU with SMT and an extra wide order superscalar design, with AMD graphics will probably give Apple’s custom ARM designs some stiff competition. AMD will be selling its custom ARM K12 Tablet APUs to a very enthusiastic OEM market, an OEM market that includes many without Apple’s deep pockets and chip engineers. Jim Keller has worked for both Apple, and AMD, so I would think now the AMD’s future is riding on the K12, and Zen products’ success that Jim Keller’s design teams have all the support that AMD can muster, as AMD’s graphics division can not carry the weight of the entire company.
Probably Su is turning the
Probably Su is turning the ship around again, going back to the PC business, concentrating on strong CPUs and GPUs, away from Rory’s plan to not have AMD depend on the PC business. AMD reminds me off what happens to Greece. Every time the government changes, everything changes. New laws that abolish the previous government’s laws, new directions in foreign policy, new directions in economy, new direction in everything.