Touting Energy Efficiency, AMD Announces 4th-gen EPYC Embedded Processors
At Embedded World this week, AMD has unveiled its 4th-gen EPYX Embedded processors. The chips offer energy efficiency along with some embedded-specific features.
We’re back with more Embedded World 2023 coverage. It’s been a busy couple days so far for the All About Circuits team here at the show. Today we’ll cover AMD’s new EPYC Embedded 9004 Series processors. Announced here at the show yesterday, these 4th generation EPYC processors are based on AMD’s “Zen 4” architecture.
At AMD's booth at Embedded World 2023, David Rosado, Senior Product Marketer Manager Embedded EESG for AMD, goes over the details of the new EPYC Embedded 9004 processor with All About Circuits Editor-in-Chief Jeff Child.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the important specs and features of the new processor, and look at how it is tailored for embedded applications.
Zen 4 Architecture and Up to 96 Cores
The new embedded processor is built on AMD’s “Zen 4” 5 nm core, says AMD. The family is made up of 10 processor models with performance options ranging from 16 to 96 cores. This aligns with a thermal design power (TDP) profile for the devices ranging from 200 W to 400 W.
The AMD EPYC Embedded 9004 series processors feature up to 96 Zen 4 cores.
According to AMD, the EPYC Embedded 9004 Series processors are targeted for engineers designing heavy workload, “always-on” embedded systems that require high compute performance and agile I/O, but in a power-optimized profile. This essentially means bringing the data center-level computing to embedded networking, security, storage and industrial applications, AMD claims.
Embedded-specific Features and Benefits
Importantly, the EPYC 9004 has some embedded-specific benefits. First among these is nontransparent Bridging (NTB). This helps boost system reliability by enabling data exchange between two redundant CPUs.
Another feature is non-volatile dual in-line memory module (NVDIMM) support.: NVDIMM is a hybrid memory consisting of volatile DRAMs and non-volatile flash memory that helps retain data after a system power failure or reset by saving DRAM contents to flash.
As shown in the red box, the EPYC Embedded 9004 offers some embedded-specific features.
Another embedded specific feature of the 9004 Series is a dual Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). This enables two off-chip ROMs to be supported for secure boot. The first ROM contains the BIOS image, and the second ROM contains a proprietary bootloader from the customer to validate and load the BIOS image. And, finally, the processor series is backed by AMD’s up to 7-year planned availability, an important factor for addressing long life and support.
Performance and I/O for Industrial, Networking, and Storage Needs
The EPYC 9004 devices offer a number of features tailored to meet the requirements of embedded sub-segments, including industrial, embedded networking, and storage. For instance, the processors include a broad set of high-speed interfaces with 128 I/O lanes capable of up to PCI Gen5 speeds, 12 bonus PCIe lanes, and support for 32 SATA devices.
The processors also come ready with the latest and fastest DDR5 memory channels, according to AMD. Each CPU model supports 12 memory channels with each channel supporting 40-bit data and 8-bit ECC with transfer rates up to 4,800 Mbps. Moreover, each channel has capability to support up to 2 DIMMs to yield 6 TB (terabytes) of main memory capacity per socket.
The EPYC 9004 devices provide the I/O, reliability, and bandwidth capabilities suited to embedded networking, industrial, and storage applications.
In order to aid engineers with optimizing for both small and large memory configurations, AMD 9004 Series processors support 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12-channel memory interleaving. Onboard I/O provides ample connectivity for additional ASICs and/or controllers to help enable greater overall design flexibility, says AMD.
Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS) Features
Because reliable, consistent processing performance is critical in heavy workload, “always on” operating environments, enterprise-level RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability) features are in demand these days.
The RAS features provided by the 9004 Series processors include DRAM ECC (error correction code) with AMDC (advanced memory device correction). This ensures the ability to correct and recover from errors caused by the failure of a single DRAM device, improving system uptimes.
Another related reliability feature is PCIe System Firmware Intermediary (SFI) capability. This lets you isolate PCIe hot plug events from the OS and applications. It essentially adds a firmware layer between the OS and devices so that you can secure and trace hot plug events.
Meanwhile, a DRAM runtime post-package repair capability allows DIMMs with problem DRAM rows to be reconfigured and kept in service. This helps maximize uptime and eliminates the need to reboot the system for “soft” repairs.
At Embedded World this 2023, AMD is showcasing these and other hardware and software products at its booth 2-411.
All images used courtesy of AMD