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TrendForce Says More Than Half of Global Server Demand Will Come From Data Centers in 2020 and Intel Will Be Long-Term Leader of Server Processors

17 May 2017 Semiconductors Mark Liu

Intel continues to dominate the market for mainstream server processors during this year’s first half with its global market share currently at above 90%, reports DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. Though AMD and Qualcomm transitioned to the more cutting-edge manufacturing technologies such as the 14nm and the 10nm processes for their server solutions towards the end of last year, they will not be able to expand their market shares significantly in the short term. Intel’s competitors are still behind in developing third-party hardware and software support.

DRAMeXchange analyst Mark Liu pointed out that that enterprises still make up the largest application segment in the server market, representing around 60% of the total demand. While data centers as an application currently has about 35% of the total server demand, their share will grow to surpass 50% by 2020.

AMD’s Naples has a chance to break into the mid-range segment of the server processor market; Intel’s Purley targets high-performance computing

Looking at the offerings of server chip suppliers, Intel’s latest Purley platform are built on the 14nm process. Purley’s Xeon E7 v5 series, which is designed for the high-performance servers, features solutions with 8 sockets, ISA and C602 chipsets that allow scalable buffer memory to further improve computing capability.

AMD’s latest Naples processors are made on the 14nm process and represent a huge leap from the company’s earlier Opteron solutions that came from the 32nm and the 28nm processes. Showing a large increase in computing power, the Naples platform will allow AMD to challenge Intel in the mid-range market by directly competing against that latter’s solutions such as Xeon E5 v4 2600. Nevertheless, AMD is at a disadvantage compared with Intel in the overall product development.

Solutions based on the ARM architecture are still mainly used in low-power environments as ARMv8 server chips are generally weaker than their x86 counterparts in the performances of an individual processor core. At the present, the latest ARM solutions are designed for storage and networking servers and are touted as being comparable to the Xeon E5 series. Some of the ARMv8 solutions are Cavium’s ThunderX CP, AppliedMicro’s X-Gene 3 and Qualcomm’s Centriq 2400. The capabilities of these ARMv8 products, which are often customized on order, are expected to be much improved as they are manufactured on advanced processes in the 10~16nm range.

Liu noted: “Intel’s x86 server solutions will continue to dominate the data center segment due to their market positioning. AMD, which has a smaller share of the server processor market, is going to sell the Naples platform to specific client groups. The competitive advantage of the Naples platform is noticeable in the mid-range market, especially in terms of having lower ASPs for its solutions. As for suppliers of customized server chips based on the ARM architecture, they will be focusing on major providers of cloud storage and computing services including Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

Global market research firm TrendForce will hold Compuforum 2017 on May 31 at Taipei International Convention Center (TICC). The theme of the seminar is “The Innovation of Cloud Computing and Storage Technology.” For more information about the event, please visit:

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