Last week AMD launched its Kabini APU for clients, a quad-core Jaguar based SoC with GCN graphics aimed at entry-level and mainstream ultraportable notebooks. In our review we found significantly better CPU performance than Intel's current 32nm Atom, but lower CPU performance than low end Core based parts. Given its small die size, Kabini is price competitive with Atom but performs between it and Core - leading to some interesting value propositions for OEMs building systems around it.

Today, AMD announced that Kabini would make its way into servers in the form of an SoC codenamed Kyoto and under the Opteron brand. The Opteron X1150 CPU and X2150 APU are both quad-core Jaguar SoCs, the main difference between the two is that the X2150 has its Radeon 8000 series GPU enabled while the X1150 is CPU-only. We'll be seeing more solutions in servers with processor graphics enabled going forward, especially given how competent these integrated GPUs are at non-gaming workloads.

AMD boasts better CPU performance (single and multithreaded) than Intel's current 32nm Centerton Atom server platform, which is quite believable given what we've seen from Kabini vs. Atom.

The Kyoto parts are BGA-only, but come with extremely attractive pricing. The X2150 carries a $99 MSRP, while the X1150 is priced at $69. TDPs range between 9 - 17W (depending on CPU clock) on the X1150 with a 2GHz max CPU clock and 11 - 22W on the X2150 with a slightly lower 1.9GHz max CPU clock.

AMD Kyoto Offerings
  CPU Cores CPU Configurable Frequency GPU Cores GPU Configurable Frequency TDP Range 1Ku Pricing
Opteron X1150 4 Up to 2.0GHz - - 9 - 17W $64
Opteron X2150 4 Up to 1.9GHz 128 266 - 600MHz 11 - 22W $99

The market for microservers based around really low power/perf CPUs like Atom or Jaguar isn't huge today, but it's growing and one that AMD already has the IP to compete in. The quick turnaround from Kabini to Kyoto is indicative of AMD's new more agile nature and focus on targeting weak points in the competition's lineup. Kyoto alone isn't going to turn AMD's server business, but compared to Atom today it's likely the best option in that power/price bracket. There's only one way to go from here, and Kyoto looks like a step in that direction.

Although not immediately related, Andrew Feldman included this slide in his presentation on Kyoto. I like it a lot so I thought I'd share it here:

In my last Kabini piece I mentioned the two non-negotiables in PC pricing, the cost of the Windows license and the cost of the Intel CPU. As the market puts even more pressure on PCs to reduce pricing, even Microsoft and Intel are forced to look for ways to maintain their margins. Once great partners, those two are presently eyeing each other's lunch.

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  • JDG1980 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    Did AMD specify if these parts include ECC support?
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    First image says 2x DDR3-1600 w ECC
  • JDG1980 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    Oops, missed that. Looks like this could be a good competitor to S1200. Despite it having been released several months ago, I've only ever seen one S1200-based board released for the DIY market (the Supermicro X9SBAA-F) and it is hard to find, not sold on Newegg or any of the usual places. I hope that the Opteron X will have a wider range of user-accessible platforms available. This could be very useful for a firewall/router, maybe even a ZFS NAS (but that's probably a bit ambitious, given ZFS's hefty system requirements).
  • WhiteAdam - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online. (Home more information)
  • zepi - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    I wonder if it would make sense for Intel to start offering their own virtualization software.

    Or possibly think of buying one producer. Vmware is valued currently over 30B and it's quite expensive in terms of P/E, but maybe there are other options available...
  • vision33r - Thursday, May 30, 2013 - link

    Doesn't make any sense. EMC bought VMware and then spun them off. The structure of hardware and software companies are not cohesive enough. At the end of the day you end up with 2 different management teams in order to run the 2 different outfits successfully. Might as well just leave them be and create partnership instead of ownership.
  • eanazag - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    I have been hoping for this. This should have been done with Brazos. I wanted SFF and low heat for simple tasks. I just want to create some appliance like devices. I have a need for a mobile file server too. I thought and think Atom sucks.
  • LemmingOverlord - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    What AMD hasn't talked about is whether this will be available in retail for DIYers. I understand many Anandtech readers are hardcore hardware aficcionados, but unless AMD takes marketing the X2150 seriously and comes up with some good partners, this will be nothing more than a grand - albeit empty - gesture, sure to enrage enthusiasts if it never makes it to the DIY market.

    Think AMD, think!
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    We will see Kabini based mini-ITX motherboards in the market. I doubt we'll see many Kyoto based platforms though.
  • Casper42 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - link

    If its a competitor to the Atom and supports ECC, I wonder how long before HP puts it here?

    45 Kyoto nodes in 4.3U, 135 nodes in 13U, 405 nodes per 39U (42U standard rack basically)

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