Bulletins

Meta will use AMD chips to power the metaverse

AMD said Monday that Facebook's parent company plans to use its Epyc chips to help power its data centers.

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AMD has a 10% share of server processors in the third quarter.

Image: AMD

AMD notched a significant victory over rival Intel Monday when it announced that its Epyc chips would be used by Meta Platforms — the corporate name Facebook Inc. adopted in October — to help run its data centers.


As part of a batch of announcements at AMD's Accelerated Data Center Premier event, AMD CEO Lisa Su said the two companies collaborated to develop the powerful third-generation Epyc chips. AMD also announced a range of new chips for supercomputers, and cloud computing applications.

As Intel's struggle to move to more advanced processor manufacturing techniques hobbled its ability to compete with rivals such as the smaller AMD, Su has managed to take market share. AMD has a 10% share of server processors in the third quarter, a gain of 3.6 percentage points from the the same period last year, according to Mercury Research data.

Behind AWS, Microsoft's Azure, and Google Cloud, Meta runs the fourth largest data center operation in the U.S., and is responsible for purchasing hundreds of millions of dollars of silicon products every year, according to people familiar with the company's chip-buying activities.

In many ways, Meta behaves similarly to other hyperscale data center builders in how it approaches selecting the technology needed to power them. For the chips AMD discussed Monday, AMD server business head Dan McNamara told Protocol that Meta's engineers were focused on optimizing them around power consumption. Meta is often more interested in ensuring that its data centers and technology are more open because of its mission to connect everyone on the planet, he said.

"Facebook is definitely very detailed, very engineering focused," McNamara said. "What we developed was just really optimizing power consumption and performance."

Meta finance chief David Wehner has said the company has plans for $29 billion to $34 billion in capital spending next year, up from an estimated $19 billion this year. Wehner has said that the company's data centers, servers, and network infrastructure are among the things that drive its spending plans.

Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers said in a research note after the company's third-quarter earnings that it was likely AMD would make its chip sales to Meta public. AMD shares rallied 10% to $150.16 Monday.

Update: This story has been corrected to reflect that AMD's share of the server processor market is 10%.

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