AMD is planning to launch the industry’s first native quad-core processors, codenamed Barcelona, in September.
The Quad-Core AMD Opteron was due to launch mid-year, but AMD has confirmed that the processor will now ship to OEMs in August and will appear in systems and on motherboards from September. The news comes as Intel announced that shipments of its quad-core Xeon 5300 microprocessor have topped one million since its release in November.
The launch will be the first time AMD introduces standard and low-power versions of chips simultaneously. The chip will also be the first x86 CPU to integrate four processing cores on a single die of silicon and which will remain compatible with earlier AMD processors.
The processors will arrive in a variety of frequencies up to 2GHz, with higher-frequency standard and special-edition versions due to launch in the fourth quarter. In tests, AMD claimed the chips will increase performance by up to 70 per cent on certain database applications and by up to 40 per cent on some floating point applications. Despite the performance hike, they will operate within the same thermal envelope as current Opterons.
“Customers are expecting energy efficiency as much as absolute performance,” said Randy Allen, corporate vice president, server and workstation division at AMD. “Better performance at the expense of greater power consumption is no longer an option. AMD has prioritised production of our low-power and standard-power products because our customers and the ecosystem demand it and they will deliver on the promise of the highest levels of performance-per-watt the industry has seen.”
Rival Intel recently unveiled products to boost its presence in the high-performance computing (HPC) sector. The company claimed its new Cluster Ready program and Connects Cables will benefit systems from deskside supercomputers to high-end clusters.
Cluster Ready outlines minimum hardware and software specifications needed to roll out off-the-shelf high-performance applications. The high-speed Connects Cables are designed for hooking up systems up to 100 metres apart and delivering data speeds of up to 20GBps.
“In the past, HPC buyers faced fragmentation and uncertainty among the disparate mix of cluster solutions,” said Richard Dracott, general manager, Intel high performance systems. “With Intel Cluster Ready, organisations can purchase clusters knowing that the equipment and applications are certified to work together. Instead of spending months defining and deploying a cluster, it is more like buying an enterprise server.”
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View photos of last night's awards ceremony in London
View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
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