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AMD Launches Lower-Power Quad Cores Opteron Line
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May 15, 2008

AMD Launches Lower-Power Quad Cores Opteron Line

By Anamika Singh
TMCnet Contributor

Advanced Micro Devices (News - Alert) (AMD) today announced the launch of its energy efficient offering for the server business customers.

Opteron HE High Efficiency) quad-core processors have an integrated memory controller and a 55-watt thermal envelope instead of the standard 95-watt profile – a technology that allows it to reducee power consumption by 43 percent.
AMD (News - Alert) officials say they hope that in this age – when most companies are looking for green technology – its efficient x86 Quad Core server processors will be the preferred choice. The company also hopes for a rub of green in its efforts to get into black, officials said.
Available for immediate shipment, the HE processors are available in both the 2300 and 8300 series for two-way, four-way, and eight-way rack and blade servers with clock speeds ranging from 1.7GHz to 1.9GHz. As per the company’s Web site, price ranged from US$255 to $873 in 1,000-unit quantities, a standard way of quoting chip prices.
However, a clear and rational comparison of its energy efficiency claim is difficult. That’s because AMD uses a power consumption measurement metric different from its competitors. In fact, it’s changed its own metrics from what it was using not very long ago.
AMD is comparing its 55W ACP with standard 95W profile to base it claims. However, ACP refers to “Average CPU Power” – that is, how much energy it takes to run the CPU – while the 95W figure AMD refers to the Thermal Design Point (TDP) metric. That’s how much energy it takes to cool the chip.
AMD unveiled Quad-Core Opteron processors in September 2007. Earlier versions of the chips were affected by a bug discovered in December that reportedly forced AMD to suspend some processor shipments. The latest version of the chips announced fixed that bug.
Anamika Singh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anamika’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
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