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7/19/2006
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AMD Plans August Rollout For Next Opteron

The processor and its socket will be positioned as upgradable to quad-core when available in the first half of next year.

Advanced Micro Devices plans to launch its next Opteron processors in mid-August, according to a company spokeswoman.

The dual-core Opteron chip, often referred to as "Revision F" or "Socket F," will support DDR2 memory for the first time, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD has said. Sources familiar with the chip maker's plans said the processor and its socket will be positioned as upgradable to quad-core when available. AMD has said publicly it will release quad-core in the first half of next year.

Some channel sources said AMD had planned initially to release the chip on August 1. Three channel sources with close ties to AMD told CRN last week the launch was planned for August 1. The AMD spokeswoman declined to comment on why some in the channel had been given the August 1 date.

AMD has gained significant mind share in the server space with its Opteron processors. In the first quarter of this year, the chip maker grabbed 25.7 percent of the overall U.S. x86 server market and 48 percent of the U.S. four-way x86 server market. Integrators and system builders said the chip has been particularly well-received in the high-performance computing segment because of its compute capability and lower power consumption.

At the same time, the channel hasn't been as enthusiastic about Intel's initial dual-core offering, saying it didn't perform as well as the Opteron and drew more power.

Intel has since fought back with the Xeon 5100 series, formerly code-named Woodcrest, that's based on its new Core architecture, which was launched last month. Many in the channel have said the 5100 processor represents a big improvement in performance and power consumption. The processor uses new FB-DIMM memory instead of DDR2.

With the Opteron expected to ship in August, all eyes will be on price-performance comparisons between AMD's new chip and Intel's Xeon 5100. However, system builders said they are already keeping an eye on the next battlefield: quad-core processors.

This story was updated to reflect the mid-August launch date

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