Anny material is the first article in a series of analytical reviews on AMD server strategy, its processors, technologies and the overall server “ecosystem”…
Since the introduction of AMD EPYC 7001 series processors in 2017, AMD’s server share has grown from 0.5 percent to 2.9 percent: taking into account the “low base” effect, this result is difficult to consider noticeable.
Therefore, AMD is pinning its hopes on the second generation of processors for single-and dual-socket x86 servers, announced August 7, 2019. Enthusiastic reviews and benchmark results of the new EPYC 7002 series make us recall the success of the AMD Opteron server processor, which allowed the Corporation to achieve in 2006 a little more than 26% of the total turnover of the x86 server market. AMD’s technological leadership in those years was well recognized by the industry, so it is rational to draw certain historical parallels, to compare the old and modern AMD strategy against the background of changing market conditions and models of server use.
The Opteron processor was introduced in April 2003, before its desktop version of the Athlon 64. In the process of entering the market of commercial applications AMD had to overcome new challenges. As today, the mass corporate customer was not ready to switch to an alternative processor supplier. The company literally “breaks-in” through fear of the server manufacturers to lose marketing funds and access to technological samples and documentation Intel and dumped the concerns of customers associated with the absence of AMD the reputation of the manufacturer of server processors. The company began to conquer the market with the supercomputer segment, where technically competent agnostics to this day prefer to use the most advanced and productive processors. In 2003-2005, first national computing centers, and then the largest corporations deployed computing clusters based on AMD Opteron.
The fault of the mass market’s unavailability was not only the traditional thinking and fears of migration to a new microarchitecture, fueled by nonsense like the “Hotness” of processors. The lack of certification for a variety of professional applications, the limited choice of the first server models, compilation and optimization tools, rare success stories and many Intel employees who regularly visited customers and manufacturers in all developed countries of the world, make the history of the Opteron processor absolutely legendary.