AMD expands embedded systems lineup with new EPYC processors

AMD is continuing to ramp up its involvement in the embedded systems market, announcing this week at the Embedded World event in Nuremberg, Germany, that its new line of EPYC Embedded 9004 Series processors is sampling now and is expected to begin production volume shipping next month.

The processors, which are aimed at embedded applications in factory floor industrial systems, networking, security, storage systems and cloud and enterprise computing, already have lured two customers who publicly voiced their support for the new line. Siemens is using the 9004 series in a server that it puts into environments such as automotive manufacturing, 5G base stations and IoT public clouds. The same server, called the SIMATIC IPC RS-828A, also can also be used for applications involving AI or heavy computation, such as visual tracking in a retail environment.

“Siemens selected the AMD EPYC Embedded 9004 Series devices for our new high-performance, data center-class server because the processors reliably deliver performance and power efficiency while being able to operate seamlessly in extreme temperatures, as well as in settings with vibration or electromagnetic interference,” said Thibault de Assi, head of business line industrial computing, Siemens. “With AMD leadership in the data center, we have been able to leverage its exceptional expertise for our industrial-grade products, where performance and efficiency are paramount. The new processors will open new opportunities for the industrial market.”

The second customer is Advantech, which is using the processors in its new ASMB-831 server board designed to enable image analysis in various use cases, including industrial machine vision, AOI and facial recognition for smart city applications, and security surveillance.

The 9004 series represents the fourth generation of AMD’s EPYC embedded processors, and are powered by the company’s 5-nm Zen 4 architecture, combining speed and performance while helping reduce both overall system energy costs and total cost of ownership, the company said. The family includes 10 processor models with performance options ranging from 16 to 96 cores, and a thermal design power (TDP) profile ranging from 200W to 400W. 

Rajneesh Gaur, corporate vice president and general manager, Embedded Solutions Group, AMD, commented that the aim with the new series is to bring “the power of data center-level computing to embedded networking, security, storage and industrial applications” that are always on and have frequent heavy workloads.

Kevin Krewell, principal analyst at Tirias Research, wrote about the AMD announcement in a contributed article to Forbes, stating, “AMD is leveraging the success in data center servers to build a series of high-performance embedded processors for a variety of markets… These embedded processors are an example of how AMD is expanding its Total Available Market (TAM) to reduce its exposure to the PCs and data center markets.”

According to AMD, some embedded-specific benefits include:

  • Non-Transparent Bridging (NTB): Helps enhance system reliability by enabling data exchange between two redundant CPUs.

  • Non-Volatile Dual In-Line Memory Module (NVDIMM1): 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.

  • Dual Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI): Enables two off-chip ROMs to be supported for secure boot.

  • Availability: Up to seven-year planned availability to address embedded requirements for long life and support.