SEATTLE— AMD has announced the launch of its Opteron 6200 and 4200 Series processors, formerly codenamed “Interlagos” and “Valencia”, after a delay of over a quarter.
Despite its execution problems, however, AMD said it is confident the new processor portfolio—which scales from 4- to 16-cores— will deliver solid performance, scalability and efficiency to the enterprise market.
AMD predicts the updated Opteron 6276 will have 84 percent higher performance than rival Intel’s Xeon processor Model X5670, while the new line of processors will also purportedly deliver increased scalability for Virtualization with up to 73 percent more memory bandwidth and half the power per core than Intel's lowest power per core server processor, the L5630, at just 4.375W per core.
The firm is also touting that its updated line-up based on the “Bulldozer” architecture will translate into two-thirds less floor space and up to two-thirds lower platform price than competitive models from Intel.
“This is the biggest thing we’ve done in 10 years,” said Pat Patla, AMD’s general manager and corporate vice president of Opteron. “It’s a brand new architecture, with multi-threading and multi-core for dense computing,” he said emphasizing the platform’s memory scalability and overall balanced approach.
AMD says the new Opterons will have up to four memory channels with up to 1600 MHz memory. They will also support up to 12 DIMMs per CPU for up to 384GB memory per CPU.
In addition, because AMD is at such a disadvantage in the market, with Intel owning approximately 95 percent share, the firm is having to be extremely aggressive in terms of pricing for its entire stack, something Patla believes will eventually win AMD back a small slice of the enterprise segment.
“At the same price points, we are going to be offering 55 percent more performance than Intel,” said Patla confidently. “We’re going to be making lots of folks in the market very happy.”
Patla said the platform would be massively parallel and offer customers flexibility in terms of deciding how best to employ the resources the platform offers, including being able to ramp up and down individual cores when necessary.
Patla also claims the offerings are the only x86 processors to to support ultra-low voltage 1.25v memory.
“It’s a good product, designed at the right time,” said Patla.
Systems using the new Opterons are expected from Acer, Cray, Dell, HP and others over the coming days and weeks.
AMD said it was also launching embedded server processors for high-end embedded systems like storage, telecommunications and networking infrastructure, with life spans of around five years.
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Good news, but I don't recall seeing a availability date or details of different SKUs. As a former employee with SGI, we evaluated emerging technologies way before they shipped, so this announcement is moot. However, I would think customers would be excited to read more details.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.