Lisbon Launch: AMD Flips Switch On Opteron 4000 Chips

Advanced Micro Devices is ready to ramp the next iteration of its new server product line with the launch of the Opteron 4000 series on Wednesday. Formerly code-named Lisbon, the Opteron 4000 processor lineup features chips that draw as little as 35 watts in power and is tailored for single- and dual-socket servers and workstations.

The initial Opteron 4000 series includes nine server processors priced from as low as $99 to $698. All but two of the new Lisbon chips have six processor cores.

’This is the second part of our server platform strategy, adding to the Opteron 6100 series,’ said Brent Kerby, senior product manager of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD’s Server and Workstation Division.

AMD released the multi-core Opteron 6100 server platform for servers with two processor sockets or more in March. That lineup of products, formerly code-named Magny-Cours, features server chips with as many as 12 processor cores and targets the traditional industry standard server market in traditional tower, rack and blade systems.

Sponsored post

The Opteron 4000 series features several processors that sit in exceptionally low power bands -- a key demand from cloud computing and scale-out customers, Kerby said. AMD expects to see its Lisbon chips in custom, purpose-built systems and appliances, ’skinless’ servers for extreme scale-out deployments, containerized data centers and some entry-level SMB-targeted servers.

’We’ve actually had customers say, ’We like your processor but can you ratchet back performance to save more power?’ That’s unheard of in my experience. It’s like, ’Wow, what a change,’’ he said

AMD’s new processor lineup includes two six-core chips that sit in the 32-watt thermal envelope and draw 35 watts of power, the 1.8GHz Opteron 4164 EE, priced at $698 in 1,000 unit quantities, and the 1.7GHz Opteron 4162 EE, priced at $316. The chip maker is claiming they’re the most power-friendly x86 server chips in existence.

’We’re going to have the world’s lowest power-per-core server processor. The Opteron 4100 EE has six cores and 35-watt thermals,’ Kerby said. ’That’s 5.8 watts per core. Intel has a 40-watt part, but it only has four cores.’

Kerby said that the combination of Magny-Cours and Lisbon represents a new server platform paradigm for AMD. Previously, the chip maker divided its Opteron product lines into three categories -- processors for one-socket servers, two-socket servers and four-socket and up configurations.

’Now we have two product classes, a 2P-4P-8P class and a 1P-2P class,’ he said.

The Lisbon platform also includes three motherboard chipset options, included a low-power version. AMD is introducing both DDR3 memory and HyperTransport 3.0 to its 1P-2P Opteron platform for the first time. The Lisbon chips will be socket-compatible with the new Bulldozer-based server platforms AMD is planning for 2011, Kerby said.

Here’s a rundown of the specs and pricing for the full Opteron 4000 series:

Opteron 4184 (2.8GHz, six cores, 75W, 2.2GHz North Bridge): $316

Opteron 4180 (2.6GHz, six cores, 75W, 2.2GHz North Bridge): $188

Opteron 4130 (2.6GHz, four cores, 75W, 2.2GHz North Bridge): $125

Opteron 4122 (2.2GHz, four cores, 75W, 2.2GHz North Bridge): $99

Opteron 4176 HE (2.4GHz, six cores, 50W, 2.2GHz North Bridge): $377

Opteron 4174 HE (2.3GHz, six cores, 50W, 2.2GHz North Bridge): $255

Opteron 4170 HE (2.1GHz, six cores, 50W, 2.2GHz North Bridge): $174

Opteron 4164 EE (1.8GHz, six cores, 32W, 1.8GHz North Bridge): $698

Opteron 4162 EE (1.7GHz, six cores, 32W, 1.8GHz North Bridge): $316