As Promised, AMD Unveils Low-Power Opterons For The Server Market

One would almost think that market conditions are normalbut there are indications to the contrary.
One would almost think that market conditions are normalbut there are indications to the contrary.As promised when it unveiled its new line of 45-nanometer "Shanghai" Opteron processors for server applications in November, AMD has followed-up with low-power versions.

The five new Opteron HE processors have speeds ranging from 2.1 to 2.3 gigahertz, and are said to use a much as 20 percent less power when idling. HP and Rackable Systems are said to be offering them already, and the other major server vendors are expected to join the list by the end of the quarter.

That a vendor should come out with an upgrade is what you expect when all is right in the world. That vendors should be feuding because one of them wants to stop manufacturing indicates that things are otherwise. AMD, as it turns out, is planning to spin off its manufacturing efforts into a subsidiary that will have backing from the government of Abu Dhabi. Intel says its cross-licensing agreements with AMD would not apply to the new entity. AMD promptly complained that Intel is trying to sabotage its efforts, and AMD promptly denied that accusation.

It all seems to point to a level of tension that was not present last year, when the market was functioning smoothlybut at least neither party is going bankrupt.

Speaking of which, more evidence that things are not going smoothly can be found in the recent bankruptcy filing by Qimonda AG, a German maker of DRAM chips. It is thought to be the first casualty among major technology firms during the current downturn.

Its departure could drive up DRAM prices in the short term, which will not make server users happy, but a sagging market and existing inventory gluts should diffuse the impact over time, pundits think.

Until the next bankruptcy filing, anyway.

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