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AMD launches second wave of dual-core offerings

Hoping to increase its head start over Intel in the dual-core chip race, AMD announced Monday the release of three new dual-core processors.

Advanced Micro Devices launched the second phase of its dual-core processor technology Monday by announcing the general availability of two new Opteron dual-core chips, with a third expected to be released by mid-October.

AMD said the new microprocessors that are available immediately -- the Model 880 for up to eight-way enterprise-class servers and the Model 280 for dual-processor workstations and servers -- will be joined by the Model 180 for single-processor servers and workstations, within 30 days.

Multi-core processors use an integrated circuit (IC) to which two or more processors have been attached for enhanced performance, reduced power consumption and more efficient simultaneous processing of multiple tasks.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD has been fervent in its quest to beat longtime chip industry leader Intel Corp. to the punch in the dual-core game, and by launching a second set of dual-core chips, AMD hopes to further the running head start it has gotten over its rival. Intel recently announced plans to begin shipping its first dual-core Xeons in the next 30 days.

"This represents that we continue to demonstrate leadership, and that we are growing our competitive advantage over [Intel]," said Randy Allen, AMD's vice president of the server products division. "This is just another step in delivering more value to our customers."

AMD's main tactic in its attempts to jump past Intel in the dual-core space has been to tout its advantage in the price/performance realm. Though Intel's dual-core chips haven't even hit shelves yet, AMD promises that its Opteron dual-core processors will hold a sizable edge over Intel's forthcoming chip by offering better performance while using less power.

Allen said that so far, AMD's initial dual-core offering is "tracking to plan," and pointed to IBM's and Hewlett-Packard Co.'s adoption of the technology, specifically in the blade server space, as a major step in the right direction. And because these chips can be dropped into the same motherboard and socket, Allen said users have migrated to Opteron dual-core chips at the rate AMD had hoped for.

For more information:

Power vs. speed -- AMD goes after Intel

AMD releases dual-core Opteron processor

"We knew customers would see a significant performance advantage and start transitioning these platforms into their existing solutions," Allen said. "We are now seeing them execute significant transitions into dual-core."

AMD has even challenged Intel to "dual-core duel," a public relations campaign it has touted on its corporate Web site featuring an Opteron chip in boxing gloves and trunks in a ring. Intel has refused to acquiesce to its rival's public confrontation, saying it will let the public decide which chip -- and which chip vendor -- they want to go with.

"They still haven't answered our challenge," Allen said. "Suffice to say, our competitor's product will come to market, and we expect Opteron will outperform [their] offering."

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Luke Meredith, News Writer

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