AMD issued a press release to introduce its new Opteron K10 processors, the first real native quad-core processors:
Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors with AMD's revolutionary Direct Connect Architecture introduce innovations that go beyond four x86 processing cores on a single die of silicon. Critical considerations for today's most challenging business requirements inspired Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor innovations: energy efficiency with a 50 percent increase in integer and floating-point performance, enhanced virtualization performance, and investment protection via a customer-centric approach enabling non-disruptive transitions from dual- to quad-core within the same power and thermal envelopes to help keep infrastructure costs down.
"Today marks one of the great milestones in microprocessor achievement as AMD again raises expectations for industry-standard computing," said Hector Ruiz, chairman and chief executive officer, AMD. "We've worked closely with our customers and partners to design a new generation of processing solutions embodied by today's Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor - a four-way winner in performance, energy efficiency, virtualization and investment protection. Early customer response has been extremely positive."
The firm also published some Opteron benchmark results on its website.
AMD also announced a new metric called Average CPU Power (ACP) - the company claims this metric gives companies a more realistic impression of the power consumption of AMD's chips:
AMD also today introduced the Average CPU Power (ACP) metric, which represents processor power usage, including cores, integrated memory controller, and HyperTransport(TM) technology links, while running a suite of typical and relevant commercially useful high utilization workloads to be more indicative of the power consumption that end-users can expect. ACP is a useful metric for data center operators when estimating power budgets to size their datacenters. AMD will continue to provide thermal design power (TDP) specifications to platform designers in AMD power and thermal datasheets.
AMD is introducing Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors today at the 55- and 75-watt ACP. For system designers, AMD will continue to state its TDP specifications.
Personally I think it would be better if instead of inventing new marketing metrics the major CPU makers sit down and create a standardized version of the TDP metric so we can easily compare chips from Intel and AMD by looking at the specifications - but that's probably too much to ask.