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Ampere Computing LLC
AMPERE
Company typePrivate
IndustrySemiconductors
Founded2017
FounderRenée James
Headquarters,
U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Renée James, (Chairman and CEO)
  • Todd Underwood (CFO)
  • Atiq Bajwa (Chief Architect)
ProductsIntegrated circuits
Microprocessors
Cloud-native processor
Number of employees
1100 (2021)
Websiteamperecomputing.com
Footnotes / references
[1]

Ampere Computing LLC is an American fabless semiconductor company based in Santa Clara, California that develops processors for servers operating in large scale environments. Ampere also has offices in: Portland, Oregon; Taipei, Taiwan;[2] Raleigh, North Carolina; Bangalore, India;[2] Warsaw, Poland;[3] and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.[4]

History

Ampere Computing was founded in the Fall of 2017 by Renée James,[5] Ex-President of Intel with funding from The Carlyle Group. James acquired a team from MACOM Technology Solutions (formerly AppliedMicro) in addition to several industry hires to start the company.[6][7][8][9] Ampere Computing is an ARM architecture licensee and develops its own server microprocessors.[10] Ampere fabricates its products at TSMC.[11]

In April 2019, Ampere announced its second major investment round, including investment from Arm Holdings and Oracle Corporation.[9] [12] In June 2019, Nvidia announced a partnership with Ampere to bring support for Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA).[13][14] In November 2019, Nvidia announced a reference design platform for graphics processing unit (GPU)-accelerated ARM-based servers including Ampere.[15]

In the first half of 2020, Ampere announced Ampere Altra an 80-core and Ampere Altra Max a 128-core processor without the use of hyper-threading.[16]

In March 2020, the company announced a partnership with Oracle.[17] In September of that year, Oracle said it would launch bare-metal and virtual machine instances in early 2021 based on Ampere Altra.[18]

In November 2020, Ampere was named one of the top 10 hottest semiconductor startups by CRN.[19]

In May 2021, the company announced a partnership with Microsoft.[20] In July of that year, Ampere acquired OnSpecta, an AI technology startup.[21] After the acquisition, the companies were able to demonstrate four times faster acceleration on Ampere-based instances running AI-inference workloads.[citation needed]

In April 2022, Ampere said that it had filed a confidential prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, signaling its intent to go public.[22]

In June 2022, HPE announced their Gen11 ProLiant system would use Ampere Altra and Ampere Altra Max Cloud Native Processors.[23]

In July 2022, Google announced T2A instances using Ampere Altra in the Google cloud and in August 2022 Microsoft announced their instances of Ampere running in Azure.[24]

Products

Ampere develops ARM-based computer processors and CPU cores under their Altra brands.[16] These are used in databases, media encoding, web services, network acceleration, mobile gaming, AI inference processing, and other applications and programs that need to scale.[25]

On February 5, 2018, Ampere announced the eMAG 8180 featuring 32x Skylark cores fabricated on TSMC’s 16FF+ process. It supports a turbo of up to 3.3 GHz with a TDP of 125 W, 8ch 64-bit DDR4, up to 1 TB DDR4 per socket, and 42x PCIe 3.0 Lanes.[26] The Skylark cores were based on AppliedMicro's X-Gene 3.[26] [27] Packet offers servers with the eMAG 8180 and 128 GB DRAM, 480 GB SSD, and 2x 10 Gbit/s networking.[28] On September 19, 2018, Ampere announced the availability of a version featuring 16x Skylark cores.[29]

2020

On March 3, 2020, Ampere announced the Ampere Altra featuring 80 cores fabricated on TSMC's N7 process for hyperscale computing.[30][31][32] It was the first server-grade processor to include 80 cores and the Q80-30 conserves power by running at 161 W in use.[30] The cores are semi-custom Arm Neoverse N1 cores with Ampere modifications.[33] It supports a frequency of up to 3.3 GHz with TDP of 250 W, 8ch 72-bit DDR4, up to 4 TB DDR4-3200 per socket, 128x PCIe 4.0 Lanes, 1 MB L2 per core and 32 MB SLC.[31][32]

Ampere also announced their roadmap with Ampere Altra Max (2021) in development and AmpereOne (2022) defined.[34]

2021

The 128-core Altra Max was released in 2021 and targeted hyperscale cloud providers.[35] It uses the same server socket and platforms as Ampere Altra, and both products have one thread per core.[36] The Altra Max CPUs provide 128 Arm v8.2+ cores per chip and run up to 3.0 GHz. They also support eight channels of DDR4-3200 memory and 128 lanes of PCIe Gen4.[37]

Also in 2021, Oracle launched its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) using Ampere Altra processors.[38]

2022

In February 2022, Ampere and Rigetti Computing announced a strategic partnership to create hybrid quantum-classical computers.[39] The companies will combine Ampere’s Altra Max CPUs with Rigetti’s Quantum Processing Units (QPU) in cloud-based High-Performance Computing (HPC) environments.[39]

In April, Microsoft previewed its Azure Virtual Machines running on the Ampere Altra.[25] The VMs run scale-out workloads, web servers, application servers, open source databases, cloud native .NET applications, Java applications, gaming servers, media servers, and other processes.[25]

In May, Ampere announced the sampling of AmpereOne CPUs, 5 nanometer chips based on its in-house Ampere-developed core.[40] AmpereOne will add support for DDR5 main memory and PCIe Gen5 peripherals.[40]

On June 28, 2022, HPE became first tier-one server provider to offer compute with optimized cloud-native silicon for service providers and enterprises embracing cloud-native development with new line of HPE ProLiant RL Gen11 servers, using Ampere® Altra® and Ampere® Altra® Max processors, delivering high performance and power efficiency.[citation needed]

2023

During April 2023, Ampere released the Altra developers kit, a IoT Prototype Kit based on Ampere Altra, aimed at cloud developers, available in 32-core, 64-core, and 80-core formats.[41]

Customers

Ampere’s customers include Microsoft Azure,[42] Tencent Cloud, Oracle,[43] ByteDance, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE),[23] Cloudflare, Equinix, Kingsoft Cloud, Meituan, Scaleway, UCloud, Foxconn Industrial Internet, Gigabyte, Inspur, Cruise,[44] Hetzner, Project Ronin,[45] Wiwynn and Google Cloud Platform[46]

Cruise uses an Ampere Altra variant for its autonomous driving unit. The CPU was selected because of its throughput and low power consumption.[44]

In 2021, Oracle, Microsoft, Tencent, and ByteDance committed to using Ampere’s customized chips, first announced in May. [47] In April 2022, Microsoft previewed Ampere Altra processors in its new Azure D-and E- series virtual machines.[48] The Dpsv5 series is built for Linux enterprise application types, and the Epsv5 series is for memory-intensive Linux workloads.[48] They provide up to 64 vCPUs, include VM sizes with 2GiB, 4GiB, and 8GiB per vCPU memory configurations, up to 40 Gbps networking, and high-performance local SSD storage.[49]

In 2022, Microsoft’s Ampere Altra-based Azure servers became the first cloud solution provider server to be Arm SystemReady SR certified.[50] The Azure VMs, powered by Altra processors, were also the first to be SystemReady Virtual Environment standard certified. SystemReady defines a set of firmware and hardware standards as a baseline for system development for software developers, original equipment vendors, and chipmakers.[50]

References

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