Ampere has quietly launched its Altra developers kit aimed at software creators for cloud data centers. Along with Dev Kit featuring the company’s system-on-chips with up to 80 cores, the Ampere also offers a pre-built workstation running its 128-core SoC, according to Joe Speed, the company’s edge computing chief. An unexpected twist is that the workstation can run Windows and even has driver support for Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics cards.
The Ampere Altra Developer Platform (AADP) is a prototyping system for general embedded applications, but it can obviously be used for building software for the cloud. The machine can use a variety of add-in boards, including Nvidia’s GeForce RTX cards. What is a bit surprising is that it can run Windows, making it perhaps the most powerful Arm-based machine that runs the consumer-oriented Microsoft operating system.
Ampere’s ARM workstations have been high on my list of desirable hardware I cannot afford and have no use for.