AMD Ships Opteron for 4- and 8-ways

AMD this week updated its two-month-old line of Opteron 64-bit server processors to offer chips designed for four-processor servers and eight-processor servers. The delivery means AMD has several technical building blocks in place to reach higher into enterprise requirements.

The 800 series of AMD Opterons joins the original 200 series of Opterons that first launched in late April. Intel this week launched its third generation of Itanium processors, code-named "Madison."

Opteron is supposed to offer a smoother upgrade path than Intel Itanium processors for organizations expecting to run a mix of 32-bit and 64-bit workloads. Opteron and the forthcoming AMD Athlon 64 desktop processors both run 32-bit and 64-bit applications natively and use the x86 instruction set for both. Intel created a new EPIC instruction set for its 64-bit processors, requiring applications to be ported or rewritten, and currently runs 32-bit applications in an emulation mode that affects performance.

But while Intel's new chip is being immediately offered in servers from high-volume server vendors like Dell and HP, AMD has less momentum. Early system builder support for the new Opterons comes from companies like APPRO, Aspen Systems Inc. and RackSaver Inc.

In 1,000-unit quantities, the new AMD Opterons cost $749 each for the 840, $1,299 each for the 842 and $2,149 each for the 844. AMD also rolled out a 100 series of Opterons this week for one-way servers and workstations.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.