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Wednesday, February 25, 2009
AMD Demos Upcoming Six-core 'Istanbul' Server Processor

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has recently completed live public demonstrations of its upcoming six-core 45nm AMD Opteron processor, codenamed 'Istanbul.'

Scheduled to launch in the second half of this year, 'Istanbul' is expected to be the only x86 six-core processor available for two- and four-socket systems and higher.

'Istanbul' is could be considered as a 'Shanghai' Opteron 45nm processor with 6 cores instead of four. It comes with 6MB of L3 cache that fits into a Socket F motherboards. The processors will also support HyperTransport and will take advantage of two channels of DDR2 memory per socket.

The demonstration featured a live upgrade of a system based on 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors to 'Istanbul' processors. 'Istanbul' is socket- and thermal-compatible with currently shipping AMD Opteron processor-based systems. This means that upgrading from the current 'Shanghai CPUs to the 'Istanbul' processors would require just a BIOS upgrade. Besides the easy upgrads, AMD ran a Stream benchmark to compare the performance of a 16-core Shanghai system compared to the new 24-core Istanbul system. The first one produced throughput numbers in the range of 25,000 MB/s. The 24-core Istanbul box, by contrast, hit about 42,000 MB/s.

The AMD consistent platform approach would help reduce qualification times for OEMs and solution providers, while giving end-users the opportunity to upgrade their existing systems.

"Thus far we see impressive performance and performance-per-watt results in our initial 'Istanbul testing. We expect global OEMs and solution providers to begin shipping systems based on 'Istanbul' in the second half of this year," said John Fruehe, director of business development, Server Workstation, AMD.

The demonstrastion also included a showing of a Task Manager on the Windows Server 2008 desktop. You can see the activity indicators for each of the 24 cores in a quad-socket system.

Watch the videos of "Istanbul" in action here.

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