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Forrest Norrod On Why AMD EPYC 'Rome Kicks A**'

‘There's a class of customers for whom I think they're going to really be surprised to see how much this thing kicks a** in Java,’ says AMD Senior Vice President Forrest Norrod.

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Fired Up About EPYC 'Rome'

AMD Senior Vice President Forrest Norrod was clearly fired up when he hit the stage at the chipmaker's second-generation EPYC Rome launch event in San Francisco last week. 

Norrod, who is also general manager of AMD's Data Center and Embedded Solutions Business Group, kept a calm, respectful executive tone throughout his talk, in which he boasted of the server processors' single- and dual-socket advantages over Intel's Xeon lineup.

[Related: Forrest Norrod Outlines AMD's Plan To Fight Intel In The Data Center ]

But suddenly, toward the end of his presentation, Norrod turned things up to 11 and belted, "Rome kicks a**!"

"I don't normally do that at external events, but that's sort of been my thing for 20 years," he said in an interview with CRN after the presentation. "People were texting me, 'C'mon, Forrest, do 'kick a**' in public!' They never expect it."

In his interview with CRN, Norrod gave examples of how businesses can benefit from the new EPYC processors' 7-nanometer architecture, an increase in transistor density over the company's 14-nanometer, first-generation EPYC Naples as well as Intel's current 14nm Xeon Cascade Lake and its upcoming Xeon Cooper Lake processors.

"It means, given a certain level of performance, a certain number of transactions per second, a certain number of virtual machines, a certain number of cash registers that you need to support with the central IT system, you can do with fewer servers," he said. "Or with the same amount of money and power, you can add a lot more capacity."

Intel expects to launch its 10-nanometer Xeon processors, code-named Ice Lake, after Xeon Cooper Lake in 2020. The semiconductor giant has previously said its 10nm process technology is comparable to the 7nm technology AMD is using. Intel does have its own plans for 7nm products, however, starting with products in 2021.

Here is an edited transcript of CRN's interview with Norrod, who went into detail on AMD's data center strategy and his thoughts on Intel's data-centric strategy.

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