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Plucky CPU maker beats AMD and Intel to become first to offer 320 cores per server — with even bigger models in the pipeline

Oracle has snubbed leading CPUs from the likes of AMD and Intel in favor of AmpereOne processors for use in its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) A2 Instances – offering the highest core count in the industry.

Coming in 2024, the new OCI service – which has 320 cores in the bare metal shape and 156 cores in the flexible virtual machine (VM) shape – will be used to power general-purpose cloud workloads. These include running web servers, transcoding video, and servicing CPU-based AI inference workloads.

At the same time, Oracle also announced two additional new services including OCI compute bare metal instances, powered by Nvidia H100 GPUs, as well as OCI compute bare metal instances powered by Nvidia L40S GPUs.

A major coup for Ampere

“Oracle was the first cloud services provider to globally deploy compute instances based on Ampere processors,” said Jeff Wittich, chief product officer at Ampere Computing. “This new generation of Ampere A2-based instances from Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will provide up to an industry-leading 320 cores per instance for even better performance, workload density, and scale.”

Having such a high core count can support higher performance as well as VM density – and can scale better to support customers’ needs, according to Oracle. They can also run in flexible shapes for VMs to provide them with maximized resources and minimized costs. 

Oracle has purchased $4.7 million worth of processors from Ampere, according to Serve the Home, in addition to a $104.1 million prepayment for future CPUs, which represents a major win for the company. 

The super-dense chip was released in May 2023 and has a maxmum of 192 cores squeezed into a single chiplet. The dual-socket Arm-based AmpereOne CPUs Oracle is purchasing offer 2MB/core, 8 channel DDR5, 128 Lanes PCIe Gen5, and power consumption falls between 200W and 350W.

This news follows very shortly after the same publication reported Google Cloud had agreed to use Ampere AmpereOne CPUs in its C3A compute instances in August. 

Although providers including Microsoft have been using Ampere Altra chips previously, Google and Oracle have been the first to incorporate its higher-end line of CPUs into high-performance cloud computing infrastructure. 

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