In the mainstream category, AMD released the 3.0-GHz Opteron 8222 and Opteron 2222. Each consumes 95 watts of power, the company said. In addition, the chipmaker released the 3.0-GHz Opteron 1222 model that's less expensive by offering a lower power-performance ratio. The chip consumes 103 watts of power.
In addition, AMD introduced two high-performance processors, the Opteron 8224 SE and 2224 SE models. Each has a clock speed of 3.2 GHz and consumes 120 watts of power. The chips are designed for high-performance computing or workstations. AMD adds SE to model numbers to indicate a higher power, frequency-optimized Opteron processor.
Both high-performance processors contain AMD's Direct Connect Architecture, which is available only with 64-bit Opteron, Athlon (PCs) or Turion (laptop) processors. The DCA is used as an alternative to a front-side bus, which is favored by AMD's rival Intel. The processors, memory controller, and I/O are connected directly to the central processing unit, or CPU. AMD claims the architecture results in faster communication speeds, which means a higher performing chip.
AMD also released pricing. The Opteron 8224 SE sells for $2,149; the 2224 SE, $873; the 8222, $1,514; the 2222, $698; and the 1222, $360.
In releasing the new chips, AMD lowered pricing of its previously highest-performing processors in the both the SE and mainstream models. The Opteron 2222 SE sells for $698, and the 8222 SE for $1,514. The Opteron 1220 was lowered to $265, the 2220 to $523, and the 8220 to $1,165.
The latest processors are designed so companies that want to upgrade later to AMD's upcoming quad-core Opteron, code-named Barcelona, can do so using the same socket. AMD is scheduled to ship Barcelona and Phenom, a quad-core desktop processor, this year. The releases are part of what AMD is promising as an aggressive technology road map aimed at beating back Intel.