AMD released on Monday a six-core Opteron server processor codenamed "Istanbul", two new dual-core desktop processors as well as the dual-core Neo chip for netbooks.
Istanbul 6-core CPU
AMD announced availability of the first six-core server processor (2.6GHz, 75W) with Direct Connect Architecture for two-, four- and eight-socket servers. Systems based on Six-Core AMD Opteron processors are expected to be available beginning this month. HE, SE and EE versions of the Six-Core AMD Opteron processor are planned for the second half of 2009.
Six-Core AMD Opteron processors leverage existing platform infrastructure and a low-cost DDR-2 memory architecture which can help lower system acquisition costs;
HPC, virtualization and database workloads can benefit from increased 4P STREAM memory bandwidth of up to 60 percent enabled by HyperTransport technology HT Assist, which helps reduce processor to processor latency and traffic.
AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) technology and the AMD-P suite of power management features are available across all performance and power bands.
The new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor has up to 34 percent more performance-per-watt over the previous generation quad-core processors in the exact same platform, according to AMD.
"The new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor meets the increasing need for a combination of low total cost of ownership, superior performance-per-watt and scalability. Simply put, Six-Core AMD Opteron processors deliver top-line performance that?s bottom-line efficient," said Patrick Patla, vice president and general manager, Server and Workstation Business, AMD.
AMD priced its 'Istanbul' new chip, in batches of 1000, between $455 and $2,649, depending on the number of sockets and other differences. The chip is expected to face strong competiton by Intel's upcoming eight-core Nehalem EX chip in the first quarter of 2010
Intel has not said how much it will charge for its Nehalem EX chip, which will have eight cores and be aimed at the 4-socket market. But the six-core chip the Nehalem EX will succeed, the Xeon 7400, is priced from $1,100 to $2,700.
New AMD Athlon II CPUs
Bringing its 45nm technology to new high-volume processor designs, AMD announced two new dual-core desktop processors. The new 45nm AMD Athlon II X2 250 processor promises to offer mainstream consumers exceptional performance, efficiency and value. For enthusiasts and overclockers, AMD also announces the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition processor, the first dual-core AMD Phenom II CPU.
The AMD Athlon II dual-core processor is clocked at 3 GHz and has a TDP of 65W and can slash power consumption by up to 50 percent when doing basic tasks, up to 40 percent when running heavy workloads and up to 50 percent when at idle. The CPU is priced at $87.
AMD Black Edition processors, like the AMD Phenom II X2 550, unleash the maximum potential of Dragon platform technology?s performance tuning capabilities.
Users can also maximize their overclocking experience by utilizing the new features and capabilities of AMD OverDrive 3.0, designed to enable quick overclocking. The dual-core CPU is clocked at 3.1GHz, has 7MB of cache and it compatible with AM3 sockets. Other features include HT link at 2.0GHz, compatibility with DDR2/3 and of course, the CPU is unlocked.
Pricing for the new AMD Phenom II X2 550 chips is about $103.
AMD Neo dual-core CPU For Netbooks
Finally AMD said it had started shipping the dual-core Athlon Neo processor for thin and light laptops, upping the ante in its battle with rival Intel.
The new Neo chip will be an upgrade over the single-core Neo processor launched by AMD in January. Neo chips are designed for thin and light laptops that can deliver full functionality at affordable prices, AMD says.
AMD said dual-core Neo will be in laptops priced between $750 and $999. The chip operates at a clock speed of around 1.6GHz and draws up to 18 watts of power.
Laptops with the new Neo chips are being shown at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. HP's new laptop based on the Neo chip will become available on Monday, while other Neo-based laptops will become available in September.
AMD's Neo is expected to face competition from Intel's low-power processors for ultrathin laptops that are introduced at Computex. Laptops with Intel's CULV chips -- like Lenovo's IdeaPad U350 and MSI's X-Slim laptops -- have already been announced.
The updated Neo chip will be part of AMD's upcoming Congo platform for ultrathin laptops. The platform will include integrated graphics based on the Radeon 3200 graphics core, a major upgrade from the earlier Radeon 1200 integrated graphics.
The Neo dual-core chip has been manufactured using the 65nm technology, which lacks the energy efficiency of Intel's 45nm single-core CULV chips.However, dual-core Neo could help laptop users do more tasks simultaneously than Intel's single-core chips.