AMD says for Opteron, it's 'Barcelona' in August
Chip maker sets release schedule for quad-core server processors
Computerworld - Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said Friday that it will start shipping quad-core versions of its Opteron microprocessor in August and that it expects hardware vendors to follow in September with servers based on the new chips.
According to AMD, the quad-core Opterons will deliver a performance gain of 40% to 70% over its existing dual-core chips, depending on the application. And they will do so without consuming more power, said the company, which will come to market with its quad-core offering nine months after Intel Corp. released versions of its Xeon server chips with four processor cores.
The quad-core product line, code-named Barcelona, gets some of its performance improvements because AMD is using a 65-nanometer manufacturing process to build the new chips vs. 90nm for its dual-core chips. In addition, the quad-core devices are being manufactured on a single die of silicon, which allows for faster and easier memory sharing, AMD said.
The new chips will initially ship in two versions with different energy-usage levels: a standard model that consumes 95 watts of power and a lower-power edition that operates at 65 watts. AMD said the clock speed of the quad-core processors will range up to 2 GHz in the standard devices and 100 MHz to 200 MHz slower in the reduced-power chips.
Additional processors will be released in this year's fourth quarter with faster clock-speed frequencies that eventually will reach 3 GHz, AMD said. It added that users who are running servers with dual-core Opteron chips will be able to easily move to the quad-core devices because the two processor lines have similar power usage characteristics and were designed to operate within the same "thermal envelope."
John Fruehe, AMD's worldwide market development manager for server and workstation products, said that the bulk of Opteron sales have always been for the standard-power chips but that customers are increasingly asking for better energy efficiency. Because of the demand, company officials wanted to make sure that the lower-power devices got to market quickly, Fruehe said.
Intel launched its quad-core Xeon processors last November and claims to have shipped more than 1 million of the devices, which were code-named Clovertown.
Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at research firm Insight 64 in Saratoga, Calif., said more details need to be disclosed about the performance of AMD's quad-core processors, including benchmarking data and the real-world experiences of users, before much can be said about how they compare to Intel's Xeon 5300 line.
"AMD didn't give us enough information to make a definitive statement," Brookwood said. "They believe that at 2 GHz, their performance will be very competitive with Intel's Clovertown products. However, there is no data to back that up."
Moreover, Brookwood wondered what will happen "over the next few months as Intel introduces 45nm versions of its current products." He said that he expects AMD to reach 3-GHz clock speeds by this time next year.
Read more about Processors in Computerworld's Processors Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Processors White Papers | Webcasts