The Week In Chips: Barcelona Coming Next Month?

Meanwhile, AMD continues to address the issues that arise in pairing AMD chips with complementary third-party components. At LinuxWorld, the chip giant unveiled a new stage in its AMD Validated Server Platforms program, making available for the first time platforms certified for Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server under the Novell "YES Certified" designation.

Supermicro Computer, Tyan Computer and Uniwide Technologies are the first original design manufacturers to offer these platforms, said Margaret Lewis, AMD's director of commercial solutions.

Also at LinuxWorld, AMD further laid the groundwork for the upcoming Barcelona launch with the news that leading x86 operating system vendors Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Sun and VMware "are optimizing their operating systems and supporting tools and middleware to take full advantage of the increased efficiencies, performance and decreased power consumption enabled by AMD quad-core technology."

Two Chips Enter, One Chip Leaves

Sun Microsystems Tuesday took the wraps off the UltraSPARC T2, also known as Niagara 2, which it calls "the world's fastest commodity microprocessor." Niagara 2 boasts eight cores supporting 64 threads on a single chip that handles key functions of a server system such as processing, networking, security, floating point units, input/output and accelerated memory access.

Not to outdone, and probably to stir things up, IBM a day earlier gave the press to a demo of its System p server's capabilities and a talk stressing various benchmarks that it says prove that the IBM Power6 chip is really the best of the best. At its San Francisco offices and later at LinuxWorld, IBM demonstrated what it calls Live Partition Mobility, which employs virtualization to migrate workloads from one System p server to another in just a few minutes with no downtime.

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