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AMD Unveils Three New Processors

Major computer makers plan to introduce systems and workstations based on the chips.
AMD introduced three new Opteron processors on Tuesday that broaden the company's product line, push the performance envelop, and provide computer makers with microprocessors for new product offerings.

AMD has added the Opteron models 850, 250, and 150, with a top clock speed of 2.4 GHz, up from 2.2 GHz. Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems have said they plan to add servers and workstations based on the new chips.

"With the increase in core frequencies, everything about the architecture increases because the memory controller is on board and becomes more efficient running at full core speed," says Pat Patla, brand manager for AMD's server and workstation business. "These provide us with more breadth of products and takes us beyond just the technical, compute-intensive applications that typically have been our stronghold."

AMD's processor-numbering scheme indicates that the 150 is targeted at 1-way capable systems, the 250 supports 2-way servers and workstations, and the 850 is primarily used in 4-way and 8-way servers. The 250 is available now, with the 150 and 850 scheduled for release by the end of next month.

In response to Intel's recent disclosure that it will accelerate the introduction of dual-core processors, Patla says AMD has always had dual-core Opterons on its road map.

"We have plans to have a dual-core processor available in 2005," he says. "When the AMD64 architecture was first unveiled in 1999, we publicly communicated that it was designed from the ground up to be optimized for multiple cores."