Article

AMD trailers upcoming Opteron quad-core processor

Bridget Botelho

Three server vendors attending the Computex Taipei, Taiwan, trade show are showcasing Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s (AMD) new Opteron quad-core chip on their server platforms.

Computex Taipei 2007 is the world's second largest ICT show. It is being held at the Taipei World Trade Center this week.

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AMD's anticipated native quad-core chips, code-named Barcelona, are expected to deliver up 50% to 80% performance and performance-per-watt improvements over current generation AMD Opteron processors.

The demonstration being performed in Taipei will showcase the quad-core processor, but not in competition against Intel Corp.'s Xeon quad-core chip.

After losing market share, Intel regained its footing against AMD at the end of 2006 with the introduction of the Xeon quad-core processor. Since then, AMD has deflected criticism for lagging behind with quad-core introduction and insists its native quad-core chip will outperform Intel's once it is released this summer.

"We have a solid roadmap and planned for smooth transitions. With Barcelona, we are protecting user IT investments, because our quad core is a simple plug-in upgrade and has the same thermal envelope (as dual core)," said Ron Meyers, divisional manager for AMD's Validated Solutions. "We aren't making transitions every six months. We have a long range plan."

AMD's quad-core chip features the same socket, same chipsets and same thermal envelopes as the dual-core chips so users can upgrade easily. The processors are designed to be drop-in compatible following a BIOS upgrade with all existing AMD Opteron processor-based systems using low-power DDR2 memory.

The three platforms being used to display AMD's Barcelona chip are from Super Micro Computer Inc., Tyan Computer Corp. and Uniwide Technologies Inc., which are participants in the AMD Validated Server program, Meyers said. The platforms being used are designed to take advantage of a new feature in Barcelona processors, called Dual Dynamic Power Management, which delivers power independently to the CPU and to the memory controller. The feature enables greater performance and better power management, according to AMD.

The validated servers being used in the demonstration include a two-socket rack system from Super Micro; a two-socket, 2U rack server from Tyan; and a 1U, one-socket server from Uniwide, Meyers said.

Super Micro is also showing Barcelona on a blade server -- its new SuperBlade system.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Bridget Botelho, News Writer

Also, check out our news at serverspecs.blogs.techtarget.com


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