As of today, Intel claims sole ownership of the market for data center after AMD that was its rival lost out after it seized to be competitive in the CPU architectures. The later has been moved down the market to occupy only a single digit of the share of the market. AMD, however, plans to bounce back when it introduces its Zen processor that will be released next year.
Others that have a smaller share of the market are ARM and IBM that could also surprise us with new products they may have in stock. Google has even put its weight behind IBM’s POWER9 CPU and OpenCAPI interconnect standard architecture.
Google on Friday, made an announcement contained in a blog post that it has joined forces with OpenCAPI consortium that has an interest in coming up with the next interconnects for data centers and servers. This is not to say that there are no other companies coming up with something new in the world of interconnect like Gen-Z made us realise that they are coming up with such as well last week.
For Gen-Z, their focus is to come up with interconnect standard that will take care of heterogeneous accelerators, storage devices, and also pool memory with the help of memory semantic fabric. Then, on the other hand, OpenCAPU works with DMA semantics. Presently, Nvidia and Google are the only members that are not part of Gen-Z but part of OpenCAPI.
Google has disclosed that it has developed a new server that will carry out OpenCAPI standard called Zaius P9. It intends to make use of 2 LaGrange CPUs power by IBM POWER9 that will also get support for DDR4 which is like 32 DIMM in total for the CPUs, together with 2 30-but buses that will handle inter-CPU communication. PCI Express Gen 4 will also get support from POWER9 along with 84 lanes that will be shared by two processors.
PCIe 4.0 is not expected to be concluded until next year with no work done yet on when the hardware for the consumer will be made available. We are yet to know when Google plans to debut its Zaius, but the POWER9 will be made available next year.
The two companies aim at challenging the dominance that Intel has enjoyed in the space for years counting. Nvidia has openly made its intention known to back up OpenCAPI project with the help of its Pascal architecture while AMD must have its own strong reasons for lending its support.
This latest threat to Intel was contained in what Google wrote in the blog post where it said that they foresee a future where heterogeneous architectures will be possible within the cloud. The company also stated that it will willingly partner with the industry to make such products and designs available to the consumers.
It may look like Google was being mild with its choice of words, but the company has already started underground work by lending support to Intel’s competitors which we do not think Intel will find amusing.