Advanced Micro Devices is beginning to line up a number of smaller server system vendors as the first customers to start using AMD's 45-nanometer processor, code-named Shanghai. This AMD Opteron processor is expected to officially hit the market in late November, with server vendors offering new systems by the end of 2008. Some of the customers that are preparing systems based on the AMD Shanghai processor include Penguin Computing, Colfax, Appro, Verari Systems and Rackable Systems.
Advanced Micro Devices is beginning to line up partners that will offer server
systems built around the chip maker's 45-nanometer "Shanghai"
processor, which has been shipping since September and is scheduled for release
The partners that have lined up behind AMD's
Shanghai processor include many of
the smaller server and HPC (high-performance
computing) vendors that have been longtime supporters of the chip maker's
technology. Companies with plans to release systems built around Shanghai
include Penguin Computing, Colfax, Appro, Verari
and Rackable Systems.
By showcasing partners before the Shanghai
processor officially launches, AMD
is looking to erase some of the unease created when it failed to deliver its
65-nm, quad-core Opteron processor "Barcelona"
on time in 2007.
Since it began shipping Barcelona
in earnest earlier in 2008, AMD has gained back some of its market share in the
server and workstation market, according to a recent report by IDC.
In the case of Shanghai, AMD
wanted to get the new parts into the hands of customers sooner in order to
allow for more testing before the actual launch.
shipped late, many of the silicon problems went unnoticed at first. The new strategy
also allowed AMD to push up the release date of Shanghai
from the first or second quarter of 2008 to November.
These early of adopters of Shanghai
discussed the benefits of the new chip at a panel discussion on Nov. 6. While the
five vendors mentioned above and AMD talked
about some of the benefits of the new processor, none of the participants
offered details about the clock speeds and prices of the chips.
When Shanghai does come to
market later in November, AMD is likely to
offer processors for two- and four-socket servers first. Shanghai
will use four processing cores and contain 6MB of Level 3 cache, compared with
the 2MB of L3 cache in the company's current crop of quad-core Opteron
processors, which should add to the overall performance boost. AMD
is also looking to boost the clock speed about 20 percent, which will get the
clock speed closer to 3.0GHz.
During Thursday's discussion, several of the vendors noted that since Shanghai
uses the same socket-Socket F (1207)-as some previous Opteron processors, it
made testing, evaluating and creating updated systems easier. AMD
is emphasizing that at a time when a financial crisis is still looming, it's
better to work with technologies that are familiar.