Probably not

By: David Kanter (dkanter.delete@this.realworldtech.com), October 7, 2018 10:44 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
> You can see comparable numbers (ie tested using the same methodology, for a range of x86 servers) here:
> https://www.anandtech.com/show/11544/intel-skylake-ep-vs-amd-epyc-7000-cpu-battle-of-the-decade/14
> Bottom line is that A12 is very competitive with Skylake
> SP. All they really need to add is an appropriate NoC.

Fabric, memory controller, power management, I/O, cache, etc. Also you probably want more RAS.

The core probably doesn't clock high enough for a server either, so that would need a redesign.

Apple could definitely do it though. But as you say, economics make no sense.

> (b) the smart thing to do would be to aggregate multiple desktop base units
> (call them, I don't know, a "zeppelin"...) via fancy low-level packaging.

Why? The only company doing that is forced to do so by a lack of cash, a problem apple doesn't suffer from at all!

Breaking apart dies only makes sense if you can use different technology (or you are reticle limited to a huge degree, e.g., shipping >900mm2). If you wanted to take a server chip and decompose it into cores + separate L3 cache + I/O dies, that starts to sound OK.

> (c) ALWAYS this argument boils down to people who seem to imagine that, even after 25 years since
> Jobs returned to Apple, even after the company DELIBERATELY changed its name from "Apple Computer"
> to just "Apple" (because why limit your ambitions?), all Apple will ever do going forward is what
> they are doing today (or, worst case, add in a copy of what someone else is doing).
> Of particular relevance to this discussion is that Apple has publicly and frequently stated that
> it has grand ambitions in "services". These could take many forms -- IMHO one that will be coming
> soon but isn't yet visible is extending iCloud compute beyond what's offered today (essentially
> storage for users and developers) to more general compute for users and developers.

> If Apple were to, essentially, provide a suite of services as complete as AWS or Azure they might win
> a fairly substantially chunk of business from those companies.

How? Apple is not good at dealing with businesses. They are a consumer company.

> Of course the initial hook would be APIs
> that work very nicely if you're already completely/primarily developing for Apple; but it's not inconceivable
> that tech features [better security? nicer big/small/GPU/NPU interop?] or even cost might even make
> the package desirable for non-Apple developers who're not absolutely wedded to x86.
>
> Point is, selling server boxes makes little sense for Apple. They tried it
> before, didn't work, no reason anything has changed since then. But there are
> more ways to "sell" a kick-ass server chip than by selling server boxes.

Apple is not great at selling to businesses. It's a very different market with radically different requirements. Amazon and MS are good at selling to businesses.

David
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TopicPosted ByDate
Should Apple start making servers?Doug S2018/10/05 11:48 PM
  Should Apple start making servers?Adrian2018/10/06 12:16 AM
    Should Apple start making servers?juanrga2018/10/06 12:37 PM
      Should Apple start making servers?Alberto2018/10/07 09:52 AM
  Should Apple start making servers?Andrei Frumusanu2018/10/06 12:23 AM
    Should Apple start making servers?Doug S2018/10/06 09:25 AM
      Should Apple start making servers?Maynard Handley2018/10/06 09:50 AM
        Good point (NT)Gabriele Svelto2018/10/06 02:57 PM
          Good pointBlaine2018/10/07 11:14 AM
        Probably notDavid Kanter2018/10/07 10:44 PM
          Probably notMichael S2018/10/08 12:58 AM
          Probably notMaynard Handley2018/10/08 03:52 PM
  Should Apple start making servers?Gabriele Svelto2018/10/06 05:44 AM
    Should Apple start making servers?Beastian2018/10/06 08:39 AM
    Should Apple start making servers?Doug S2018/10/06 09:29 AM
      Should Apple start making servers?Travis Downs2018/10/06 10:23 PM
        Should Apple start making servers?Doug S2018/10/08 03:08 PM
    Should Apple start making servers?Maynard Handley2018/10/06 10:04 AM
      Should Apple start making servers?Gabriele Svelto2018/10/06 02:56 PM
        Should Apple start making servers?Maynard Handley2018/10/06 06:58 PM
          Should Apple start making servers?Gabriele Svelto2018/10/07 01:46 AM
            Should Apple start making servers?dmcq2018/10/07 03:33 AM
              Should Apple start making servers?Alberto2018/10/07 06:07 AM
                Should Apple start making servers?Doug S2018/10/08 03:19 PM
              Should Apple start making servers?Doug S2018/10/08 03:17 PM
    Should Apple start making servers?juanrga2018/10/06 12:33 PM
  Should Apple start making servers?wumpus2018/10/06 08:27 AM
    Should Apple start making servers?Aaron Spink2018/10/06 11:17 PM
      Should Apple start making servers?Doug S2018/10/08 03:33 PM
  Should Apple start making servers?Alberto2018/10/07 10:36 AM
  Should Apple start making servers?Michael S2018/10/08 04:05 AM
    Should Apple start making servers?anon2018/10/08 06:35 AM
  Apple's winning strategy in serversAM2018/10/08 07:17 AM
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