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Microsoft and AMD partner to deliver open source cloud hardware

Microsoft continues to embrace open source as a driver of innovation.

By Hannah Williams

Microsoft and AMD are working together to combine cloud delivery features of AMD’s next-gen “Naples” processor with Microsoft’s Project Olympus.

Microsoft’s Project Olympus is a next-gen hyperscale cloud hardware design, newly designed for open source hardware development with the Open Compute Project community.

The addition of Project Olympus to the OCP community enabled AMD to engage early on in the design process and foster the collaboration around the strategic integration of AMD’s upcoming “Naples” processor.

Scott Aylor, Corporate vice president of enterprise systems, AMD said: “Next quarter AMD will bring hardware innovation back into the data centre and server markets with our high-performance “Naples” x86 CPU, that was designed with the needs of cloud providers, enterprise OEMs and customers in mind.”

Read more: Microsoft commits to using ARM server chips in challenge to Intel’s data centre dominance

The performance, scalability and efficiency found between Project Olympus and AMD’s “Naples” processor enables the updated cloud hardware design to meet the application demands of global data centre customers.

AMD’s “Naples” processor also delivers the “Zen” x86 processing engine in configurations of up to 32 cores. According to AMD, this determines secure scaling across the cloud data centre and traditional on-premise server configurations.

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It is said that the processor also provides access to vast amounts of memory, along with on-chip support for high-speed input/ output channels in a single-chip SoC. For this reason, AMD says “Naples” stands out from others in the current server market.

Kushagra Vaid, GM and distinguished engineer, Azure Cloud hardware infrastructure, Microsoft said: “Collaboration across the open source community is central to driving rapid innovation and creating a vibrant ecosystem for Microsoft’s Project Olympus.

“Partnership in design, such as our collaboration with AMD, shows how engaging early and often with hardware innovators can produce open source designs that are faster to market and customisable to enable flexibility and choice for end users.”

The first set of “Naples” processors are scheduled to be available for sale in Q2 of 2017, with expected volume availability building in the second half of the year through OEM and channel partners.

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