AMD is offering businesses and channel partners a 35 percent discount if they upgrade their Opteron processors. AMD's program covers both the dual- and quad-core Opteron chips, as well as the upcoming six-core "Istanbul" processor, due out later this year. AMD officials say the program will help customers weather the recession and also highlights the stability of the Opteron platform. The program also comes a week after rival Intel unveiled its much anticipated Nehalem EP Xeon chips.
Advanced Micro Devices wants to make it easier for enterprises and resellers to stay with Opteron.
AMD April 7 announced its Opteron Upgrade Program, which gives
businesses and channel partners a 35 percent discount when they upgrade
the generation of their Opteron chips. The program includes the
dual-core 2000 series Opterons and 8000 series quad-core chips.
It also includes AMD's upcoming six-core "Istanbul"
Opteron chip, due later years.
The discounts can translate to $50 off the 2000 series chips and $100 off the 8000 series processors.
AMD officials said the discounts are designed to ease the financial
pressures on customers and channel partners during the recession as
well as to highlight the stable Opteron platform.
"AMD Opteron processors have always provided exceptionally long life
cycles and consistent platforms," John Fruehe, director of business
development at AMD, said in a statement. "In the current economic
environment, customers are trying to stretch their IT budgets and to
extend the life of their technology investments more than ever, all
while improving performance and energy efficiency."
AMD's new program also comes a week after Intel rolled out its new Nehalem EP processor
and architecture for two-socket systems March 30.
The new Xeon 5500 series processors are designed to drive up
performance and energy efficiency and reduce operating costs. The new
Intel chips include an integrated memory controller, a feature that AMD
introduced when it first released Opteron in 2003. The integrated
memory controller eliminates the need for a Front-Side Bus and speeds
up the communications between the chip and memory.
AMD officials have often cited the integrated memory controller as a
key difference between Opterons and Xeons, saying it gave the AMD chips
a more elegant decision and better performance.
In an interview a few days before Intel's launch of Nehalem EP,
Margaret Lewis, director commercial solutions at AMD, conceded that
Intel offering the integrated memory controller on the new Xeons was a
significant step for Intel. Lewis also noted that it was a big
technology change, and said that AMD has had a more stable platform
that will continue with the release of Istanbul.
Illustrating AMD's stable Opteron platform and easy upgrade paths,
she said that Istanbul will share the same socket and thermal envelope
that the current "Barcelona" and "Shanghai" Opterons currently use.
That's important, given that the recession is driving businesses to
look at upgrading their current technology rather than replacing what
they have, Lewis said.
She also said that AMD was gearing up for a new platform, codenamed
"Maranello," that will be launched in 2010, and will offer chips with
up to 12 cores and four memory channels. Barcelona and Shanghai
Opterons currently offer two memory channels, and Intel's Nehalem