AMD reduces Opteron power consumption: News in brief

In today's news in brief, AMD now offers a 40-watt quad-core Opteron chip and has reported a revenue loss and Emulex received an unsolicited bid from Broadcom.

AMD ships lower-watt Opteron processors
On Wednesday, AMD launched its lowest-watt Opteron processor, the 40 W Opteron EE, but the efficiency comes with a performance tradeoff.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. now offers quad-core "Shanghai" Opteron chips in four power levels: the 105 W Opteron SE (3.1 GHz), the standard 75 W Opteron (2.9 GHz), the 55 W Opteron HE (2.5 GHz) and the new 40 W Opteron EE (2.3 GHz).

This new chip isn't for users looking for high performance, though. The 40 W EE chips are geared toward "a small set of extremely power-conscious customers, like those building massive data centers for cloud computing," said Steve Demski, an AMD product manager.

Compared with the 55 W Opteron HE chips, the 40 W Opteron EE option offers 19% better efficiency. Compared with the previous-generation Barcelona standard 75 W chip, the Opteron EE offers up to 62% higher performance per watt, according to AMD.

The new chips also include the AMD-P suite; a bundle of power-efficiency features including Smart Fetch, CoolCore, and the AMD PowerCap feature, which blocks out certain power consumption levels to maintain efficiency.

AMD also plans to deliver a six-core processor, code-named "Istanbul," later this year.

AMD reports losses, grim outlook
AMD reported a loss for the first quarter of 2009 and expects to see negative results in the second quarter of 2009 as well.

For first quarter of 2009, revenue was $1.177 billion, flat sequentially compared with the fourth quarter of 2008 and down 21% compared with the same quarter from a year ago.

Still, the company's president and CEO, Dirk Meyer, said sales were better than expected, given the poor economy.

Broadcom attempts Emulex acquisition
Broadcom Corp. yesterday made an unsolicited bid to buy Emulex Corp. for $$764 million.

A semiconductor maker, Broadcom offered $9.25 a share in cash for Emulex-- 40% more than Emulex's closing price Monday, according to reports.

Emulex, which makes converged networking technologies, is an attractive target for Broadcom because its technology for moving information from data centers to storage systems is fast, reliable and hard to replicate, Harsh Kumar, an analyst at Morgan Keegan Inc., told Bloomberg.

Emulex' board of directors is reviewing the proposal.

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

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