AMD Socket F Opteron processors released

Posted on Tuesday, Aug 15 2006 @ 14:26 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD today introduced its Next-Generation AMD Opteron processor family, featuring industry-leading performance-per-watt and outstanding virtualization capabilities. As the only x86 server processor with planned upgradeability to native quad-core within the same thermal design power envelope, Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors are designed to enable customers to increase computing capacity without altering datacenter infrastructure. Improving upon what already is recognized as a standard-bearer for energy-conscious microprocessor architecture design, new platforms based on Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors will be offered in record numbers from global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

In addition to launching its Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors, AMD also announced the completion of the design, or tape-out, of its native Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors. Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors represent another concrete example of the benefits from AMD’s overarching strategy to introduce new technologies with minimal customer disruption for maximum value. AMD plans to deliver to customers in mid-2007 native Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors that incorporate four processor cores on a single die of silicon.

Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors are expected to be electrical-, thermal- and socket-compatible with the Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors introduced today. This long-term approach means AMD customers can benefit from a consistent and common architecture that scales to meet changing needs and escalating demands, and from the ability to select quad-core ready platforms today. The consistency and stability offered by Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors also enhance the potential benefits to OEMs, system-builders and semiconductor companies who elect to innovate on the AMD64 architecture via the AMD Torrenza initiative. Torrenza capitalizes on the Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport™ technology advantages of the AMD64 architecture to enable other processor and hardware providers to innovate within a common ecosystem. The enhanced capabilities and innovation options now available through the extensible system bus via the HTX connector with new AMD Socket F (1207) compatible processors serve as the infrastructural underpinnings for advancing AMD64 as the x86 open innovation platform.

Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors represent the very latest products based on AMD’s innovative Direct Connect Architecture, the industry’s first architecture to deliver x86-based 32- and 64-bit computing and to reduce traditional front-side bus bottlenecks, offering customers processing core consistency and stability across 1-, 2-, 4- and 8-way systems. Additionally, with only two sockets for SMP planned over a seven-year period, AMD is delivering a growth strategy for its customers who want simplicity, longevity and stability across products and platforms for their datacenters.

Power consumption continues to be one of the top concerns for managing today’s datacenters. AMD Opteron processors address this concern by providing customers with industry-leading overall power-efficiency and can deliver significant performance gains over single-core AMD Opteron processors while operating in the same thermal infrastructure. The Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors will further define a new standard in performance-per-watt with outstanding PowerNow!™ capabilities and energy-efficient DDR2 memory support, while maintaining a consistent maximum 95-watt thermal design power envelope. Thanks to the memory capacity offered with AMD’s Direct Connect Architecture, customers can have the memory performance they require with DDR2 and avoid the premature use of memory technologies that are not yet at an optimal price-to-performance ratio and that require more power.

The power efficiencies delivered by Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors, combined with an ever-increasing number of blades offered by tier-one OEMs, continue to define AMD Opteron processors as powering optimum blade platforms. AMD Opteron processor-based blades make up more than 50 percent of HP’s x86 blade server platforms. IBM brought the LS20 AMD Opteron processor-based blade to market in 2nd quarter 2005 and recently expanded its offerings to include the industry’s first “snap-in” scalable, 2- to 4-socket blade that allows customers to scale their business in mere seconds -- doubling the processing capacity. AMD Opteron processors are at the foundation of Sun’s re-entry into the x86 blade server market with its innovative Sun Blade 8000 modular system, which combines the high-performance of rackmount servers in a more power-efficient blade environment.

The combination of AMD Virtualization™ technology and Direct Connect Architecture provides a balanced approach to enhanced virtualization performance. AMD Virtualization is designed to extend AMD’s Direct Connect Architecture by providing additional silicon-based features to allow a hypervisor (the component in a native virtualization scenario that manages the partitioning of the processor) to easily support guest operating systems. The integrated DDR2 memory controller on Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors enhances virtualization and provides efficient isolation of virtual machine memory for improved security and support of virtual users. AMD Virtualization was developed in collaboration with AMD’s enterprise-focused OEM partners and ISVs currently shipping commercial virtualization software such as Microsoft, Novell, VMware and Xen.

Model Numbers, Pricing and Availability
Starting with Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors, AMD will move to a 4-digit model number system. The new model numbers will continue to feature a 1, 2 or 8 in the first position to represent the scalability of each processor while adding a 2 in the second position, representing the second socket generation.

Model numbers will be as follows:
Up to 1P = 12xx. Socket AM2
Up to 2P = 22xx. Socket F (1207)
Up to 8P = 82xx. Socket F (1207)

Next-Generation AMD Opteron processor Model 8218 is priced at $2,149 in 1,000-unit quantities and the Model 2218 is priced at $873 in 1,000-unit quantities. The Next-Generation AMD Opteron processor Model 1218 is priced at $749 in 1000-unit quantities. The Next-Generation AMD Opteron processor Model 8220 SE is priced at $2,649 in 1,000-unit quantities, Model 2220 SE is priced at $1,165 in 1,000-unit quantities, and Model 1220 SE is priced at $899 in 1,000-unit quantities.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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