AMD Launches 55-Watt Quad-Core Opterons

Advanced Micro Devices on Monday introduced five new quad-core Opteron processors that sit in the 55-watt ACP thermal envelope, making them the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chip maker's lowest power quad-core server chips to date.

Dubbed Opteron HE (highly efficient) processors, three new chips are available in the 2300 series -- model numbers 2344 HE, 2346 HE and 2347 HE -- and two in the 8300 series -- 8346 HE and 8346 HE -- for two-way, four-way and eight-way rack servers and blades, according to AMD.

In two-processor and four-processor configurations, AMD is touting the performance of the Opteron HE chips on energy efficiency benchmarks such as SPECfp_rate2006.

Last week, AMD issued a major update to its roadmap through 2010. In addition to confirming the wide availability of B3-revision quad-core Opterons to OEMs and channel partners, AMD server chief Randy Allen promised a six-core server chip codenamed Istanbul in 2009 and a 12-core processor codenamed Magny-Cours in 2010.

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AMD's transition to the 45nm fabrication process is on track for the second half of this year, Allen said. Meanwhile, AMD in late April introduced its first desktop platform for commercial systems, codenamed Hardcastle, part of its new AMD Business Class initiative. A notebook version of Hardcastle is expected with the introduction of AMD's next-generation mobile platform, known as Puma.

With the flurry of new products since the start of the year, which also includes various offerings from the ATI graphics side of AMD's house, AMD is hoping to realize CEO Hector Ruiz's pledge of profitability by the end of the third quarter this year. AMD announced its sixth straight quarter in the red at its Q1 earnings call in mid-April.