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Microsoft Reveals Azure VMs will Now Use New AMD EPYC Processor

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Microsoft and AMD are long-time partners who collaborate on various projects. The latest is a combination of AMD’s latest VM architecture with Microsoft Azure.

Specifically, AMD has unveiled its third generation EPYC processors with 3D V-Cache. The silicon is in development under the codename Milan X. Alongside the announcement, Microsoft revealed a preview for its Azure HBv3 virtual machines (VMs), which use the 3rd Gen AMD EPYC.

Microsoft says the EPYC enhancement in Azure HBv3-series VMs will offer considerable performance gains over the current generation. For example:

  • “80 percent higher performance for CFD
  • 60 percent higher performance for EDA RTL
  • 50 percent higher performance for explicit FEA
  • 19 percent higher performance for weather simulation”

“For memory bandwidth-bound workloads to run at an appropriate scale, the net effect of the larger L3 cache is an up to 1.8x increase in effective memory bandwidth. This means an HBv3 VM that today offers 350 GB/s (as measured by STREAM-TRIAD) will soon perform more like a VM with greater than 600 GB/s of memory bandwidth.”

Microsoft will now upgrade all its global HBv-3-series VMs to run on AMD’s Milan-X processors. The company points out the upgrade will be free for existing customers.

Ongoing Partnership

As mentioned, Microsoft and AMD are becoming increasingly close. The companies are reportedly working on a new ARM processor that would be proprietary for Microsoft and run on Surface and Windows 11 machines.

It is believed the configuration of the Microsoft and AMD chip will include the Cortex-X1 core, 8 compute units, 5G connectivity courtesy of a Samsung Exynos modem, and a mRDNA 2 GPU.

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If you want to change that, check out our detailed BitLock guide where we show you how to turn on encryption for your system disk or any other drive you might be using in your computer.


Juliana Luwoye

The author Juliana Luwoye

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