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AMD dangles 64-bit ARM code developer kit over, well ... developers

Sample Seattle for $3,000 minus change

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AMD has been promising shipments of its 64-bit ARM-based server chips, code-named "Seattle", for the end of the year but now you can get hold of one with the firm's latest developer kit release.

From Wednesday those with the cash can hand over $2,999 to AMD and in return get the AMD Opteron A1100-series developer kit containing a microATX motherboard loaded up with the new chip, 16 GB of DDR3 DRAM, PCI Express and serial connectors – all tied together with a Fedora software build.

AMD's A1100 supports four or eight ARM Cortex-A57 cores that can run dual DDR3 or DDR4 memory, eight lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 I/O, up to four SODIMM, UDIMM or RDIMMs, and dual 10-gigabit Ethernet ports. Crypto and data compression co-processors are also supported and the whole system can run ARM's TrustZone security technology.

"The journey toward a more efficient infrastructure for large-scale datacenters is taking a major step forward today," said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, general manager of AMD's server business unit.

"After successfully sampling to major ecosystem partners such as firmware, OS, and tools providers, we are taking the next step in what will be a collaborative effort across the industry to reimagine the datacenter based on the open business model of ARM innovation."

AMD is obviously hoping for more success in the ARM server market than it has enjoyed in years of x86 server building. Low-powered ARM servers are predicted to take up an increasing share of the market and AMD is ahead of most of the competition at this point.

That said, there's a few hurdles to overcome first. While the Seattle chips should ship by the end of the year the first platform expected to use them, SeaMicro, won’t have any servers coming out until 2015 at the earliest. ®

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