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8/31/2009
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AMD Intros 40W Opteron Chip

The low-power, six-core processor is designed for use in cloud servers and data centers.

Advanced Micro Devices on Monday introduced a six-core Opteron microprocessor that operates at 40 watts, making the chip a candidate for companies looking to ease the server clutter in dense data center environments.

The Opteron EE processor, like the company's other six-core processors, is based on AMD's Istanbul microarchitecture, which is "drop-in" compatible with sockets in systems running quad-core chips of the previous generation, codenamed Shanghai. Replacing the older quad-core technology with AMD's latest product would deliver up to 31% higher performance per watt.

The latest Opteron EE is AMD's most energy-efficient, six-core product. The power boost, coupled with the lower energy usage, means AMD customers can use the latest technology to boost computing power without adding more hardware. In addition, depending on the power usage of the technology being replaced, companies could also reduce energy usage and ease cooling requirements.

Istanbul, built using the latest 45-nanometer manufacturing process, offers a new technology called HyperTransport Assist that increases memory and input/output performance. In addition, the 40-watt six-core Opteron offer the same virtualization and power-saving capabilities as standard power chips, according to AMD.

"It (the latest Opteron) is specifically designed to help address the challenges that are generating a great deal of discussion these days -- building and running very dense data centers for Web services, while doing more with less," Patrick Patla, VP and general manager of AMD's Server and Workstation Division, said in a statement.

AMD's six-core products compete with Intel's 7400 series Xeon processors, codenamed Dunnington. Intel launched its first six-core server processors a year ago.

AMD's latest product is available in custom hardware by system builders, the chip maker said. The servers are targeted at customers with cloud-computing environments.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on server virtualization. Download the report here (registration required).

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