AMD has created a new home for their Opteron microprocessors including the latest Opteron 6300 series (see 16 Core Chips Target Enterprise Servers) The AMD Open 3.0 (OCP V3) platform (Fig. 1) is a motherboard based on the latest specifications from the Open Compute Project (OCP). It is designed for environments from a single 1U box to large data centers like Facebook's. The platform targets cloud computing, high performance computing (HPC) and large storage applications.

The earlier OCP V2 architecture a pair of half-width server motherboards. AMD and Intel boards are available for this form factor.

The key is a common design that will be available from multiple manufacturers including Tyan and Quanta Computer and mulitiple system integrators such as Avnet and Penguin Computing. The standard and AMD's Open 3.0 was announced at the 2013 Open Compute Summit.

Figure 1. The AMD Open 3.0 server motherboard platform is designed to work with the entire range of Opteron processors.

The motherboard is designed to fit into 1U, 1.5U and 2U and 3U boxes (Fig. 2) for a standard 19-in rack. It supports up to two processors. The T-shape design allows standard power supplies to be used on either or both sides.

Figure 2. The AMD Open 3.0 server motherboard supports 1U, 1.5U, 2U and 3U boxes.

The platform was a collaborative design. The architecture allows for incremental expansion and the power supply support is tuned to handle low power and high end processors that have different power needs.

Each AMD Opteron 6300 Series processor has four memory channels connected to 12 memory sockets. There are 6 SATA ports, 2 serial ports and 2 USB ports per board. The board has four PCI Express slots.

There is a dual channel gigabit Ethernet interface with integrated management support based on the BCM 5725 from Broadcom for out-of-band (OOB) management. This is compatible with Open Machine Management that is built on standards like SMASH and IPMI (see Fundamentals Of The Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI)). The BCM 5725 supports serial over LAN interfaces and a card slot allows adding a KVM over IP LAN management card.

Additional interfaces can be included on a low profile mezzanine connector. This can be used for high speed network interfaces such as Ethernet or InfiniBand.

The AMD Open 3.0 board, that is 16-in by 16.5-in, will also fit into the wider (21-in) Open Compute Open Rack design. The wider system allows five 3.5-in disks to fit across the front compared to the four for a 19-in rack. Facebook is moving to the wider Open Rack design.

AMD help come up with the design but they will not be selling systems or motherboards. That will be left up to the other partners. The form factor will likely include an offering based on Intel Xeon systems in a fashion similar to the OCP V2 support.

Vendors expect to create a large market with common platform designs like this. It greatly simplifies peripheral support and should provide users with more options. Likewise, support for peripherals across the range of implementations should be better as well. It should also help reduce prices making the platforms available to more customers at the low end.