Unveiled yesterday, May 16, at AMD's annual Financial Analyst Day, the Epyc server system-on-chip was designed specifically to meet the current and future workload demands of the modern, software-defined data center, the company said.

Set to be released in June, the processor formerly codenamed "Naples" was shown in a demonstration at the Sunnyvale, Calif. event to outperform a two-socket/two-processor platform in both memory bandwidth and input/output capacity.

The Epyc processor also represents the next phase of AMD's long-term plans for growth by targeting the PC, data center and immersive devices market, president and CEO Lisa Su said during the event. In a statement released after her presentation, she said the company's goal is to "take advantage of the major shifts in the technology industry and deliver significant financial returns."

Designed for Changing Workloads

"We know that in the environment that is the data center today, workloads are changing: public cloud, private cloud, on-prem[ises], hybrid solutions... the amount of change is massive," Scott Aylor, corporate VP and general manager for enterprise solutions, said in an AMD video about the new Epyc SoC.

Designed with 32 cores and support for two threads per core, AMD's Epyc processor also provides eight channels of memory per device and 128 lanes of high-speed, PCI express 3-standard input/output. It also features a highly-optimized cache structure and can deliver up to 4 terabytes of memory in a dual-socket server.

AMD believes the new product line-up has the potential to reshape significant portions of the data center market with its unique combination of performance, design flexibility, and disruptive TCO. That's according to Forrest Norrod, AMD's senior vice president and general manager of enterprise, embedded & semi-custom products.

In his presentation at the Financial Analyst Day, Norrod compared a single-socket Epyc processor to a comparable two-socket chip from Intel. Norrod said the AMD chip offered both "significantly lower power consumption" and "greatly reduced operating expense," with up to a 30-percent improvement in total cost of ownership.

Threadripper for High-End PCs

AMD said data storage provider Dropbox is currently testing the Epyc processors as an option for its own cloud-computing infrastructure. It cited a statement from Dropbox executive Akhil Gupta, who noted that the company is impressed with the initial performance they see across workloads in single-socket configurations.

In a newly released AMD-sponsored whitepaper analyzing the new chip, Tirias Research reported that the Epyc's processing and input/output capabilities "have the potential to displace 2S [two-socket] server designs for many workloads."

AMD also provided a statement on the Epyc's capabilities from the analyst firm IDC.

"Today's single-socket server offerings push buyers toward purchasing a more expensive two-socket server just to get the memory bandwidth and I/O they need to support the compute performance of the cores," IDC senior vice president Matthew Eastwood said in the statement. "There are no fully-featured, high-performance server processors available today in a single-socket configuration. Epyc changes that dynamic by offering a single-processor solution that delivers the right-sized number of high-performance cores, memory, and I/O for today's workloads."

During yesterday's event, AMD also highlighted other coming releases, including the Ryzen Threadripper, a CPU based on the company's Zen architecture. Set to launch this summer, the Threadripper was designed to deliver greater memory and input/output bandwidth for PCs in the high-end desktop market.