The x86 dual-core processor market will pick up speed Monday with the introduction of a second wave of Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and the introduction of the first dual-core Xeon systems from Dell.
AMD is unveiling three new models of its dual-core Opteron line, increasing the upper end of its clock speed from previously available 2.4 GHz to 2.6 GHz. AMD is adding the model 880 for up to eight-way servers, the model 280 for dual-processor workstations and servers, and the model 180 for single-processor workstations and servers.
Sun Microsystems earlier this month announced plans to use the 2.4 GHz Opteron processors in its new Galaxy platform of servers. Hewlett-Packard and IBM are also expected to use the new Opterons.
"If you look at the number of platforms being brought to market from HP, IBM, and Sun, it is providing a lot of choice for consumers and IT managers to be able to more fully deploy Opteron in the different form factors they require for their enterprises," says Randy Allen, corporate VP of the server products division at AMD.
The 880 is priced at $2,649 each in quantities of 1,000, and the 280 at $1,299. Both are available now. The 180 is scheduled for availability within 30 days, and is priced at $799.
Allen says AMD is continuing to experience strong adoption of Opteron-based servers in large business accounts. By the end of the third quarter, 80 of the 100 largest global companies will be utilizing Opteron-based servers, up from 75 in the second quarter, he says.
In addition, support from independent software developers continues to increase, with 1,300 applications from 300 software developers certified to run on Opteron; around 1,100 applications are currently shipping, Allen says.
On Monday, software virtualization specialist SWsoft will announce its Virtuozzo 2.6.6 for Linux server virtualization now supports both Opteron and Intel's Extended Memory 64 Technology used in Xeon processors.
Dell on Monday is announcing that its dual-socket PowerEdge 1850, 2800, 2850, and 1855 blade servers, and Dell Precision 470 and 670 workstations will now incorporate dual-core Intel processors. The systems are believed to be the first dual-core Xeon systems on the market. Dell has previously introduced dual-core server platforms based on Intel's Pentium D processors.
The new systems will be able to deliver up to 52% greater performance than existing single-core Xeon systems, Jeff Clarke, senior VP of the Dell product group, said in statement.
Dell is now taking orders for the servers, with general availability in October. Starting prices for the PowerEdge 1850, 1855, 2800, and 2850 are $2,448, $2,448, $2,548, and $2,748, respectively. The Precision 470 workstation is priced starting at $2,479, and the Precision 670 at $2,779.