back to article Industrial design: AMD brings 4th gen Epyc power to embedded applications

AMD has lifted the lid on variants of its 4th generation Epyc processors optimized for embedded applications, delivering greater performance and scalability – although device engineers may look askance at the power envelope ranging up to 400W. Announced at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, the Epyc Embedded 9004 Series …

  1. hammarbtyp

    Most embedded designs are fanless. Not sure where a 200-440W chip fits into that

    The only way it would work is with aggressive power management which would have a large knock on effect on predictability

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Embedded means long lifetime, dedicated hardware performing a specific task for many years.

      At the mid and higher performance they definitely do have fans. A lot of bottom tier processing have fans too, to meet other requirements.

      The embedded computer running my NAS has a fan. Mostly to cool the drives, but it's there.

      The embedded computer running your core network switch definitely has fans, I can hear them from here!

      The POS machines at your local Tesco have fans.

      The computers running the CAT and MRI scanners at your local hospital have fans.

      These are probably aimed at the last two, given the CPU power available.

      Aside from that, fanless designs for 400W CPUs do exist, if desired. Multiple kW of fanless cooling already exists in some products. I've used a few that have direct connection to building HVAC cold water lines to handle 10kW or so of dissipation.

      1. hammarbtyp

        Not all embedded applications are equal

        As you say embedded means long life time, but also in many cases it means running with minimum supervision for long periods

        The applications you mention are yes, embedded, but are the edge cases, because they are designed around having continual supervision. However they don't need specialist chips because if they break, there will be someone around to replace them. Also if they break, apart from a little inconvenience, nothing will happen. Also they run in nice controlled environments, weather protected and air conditioned

        The far larger market are the kind of computers that monitor and control your jet engine, wind turbine, ship, etc. These are designed to run with minimal supervision for years in all sort of tough environmental conditions

        The reason fans are not liked in these situations is a) it is another failure point. That piece of rotating plastic will be the most likely thing to go after 10 years, either due to bearing failure or dust build up. b) It will be more affected by water, dust ingress c) If you need a fan to move heat around, it won't be very happy in 40C in an ship engine room etc

        For example the embedded controllers we get have no fan but a giant aluminum heat sink. There is no way we would consider a design with a fan in it. Also if the chip is managing its energy consumption by managing its clock cycles, this could play havoc with real time applications. We would rather accept lower consistent performance than fast, than hot and varying performance levels

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    Sounds like a perfect chip to install in a catflap.

    It provides enough performance to replace chip scanning with AI cat recognition to filter cats going in and out, but also it consumes so much energy it can actually provide some vital heating, especially during the winter, for cats waiting to be scanned by the AI or not sure whether to go in or out.

  3. rdhma


    A 400W processor is not a problem. There are industrial applications where that kind of power is not a big deal.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Indistrial

      Indeed so, but usually the heatsink is the chunky die-cast aluminum case it's in, with more fins than a school of fish, and which is also often bolted to the steel frame of an enormous machine.

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