Emphasis on Power Efficiency
Besides virtualization, AMD is also placing a great deal of emphasis on the power efficiency of the 45-nm Opteron processors. The die shrink from 65 nm to 45 nm will help reduce the power the processors use, and there are other technologies, such as independent control of each processing core, that should further reduce power consumption. The nine Opteron processors AMD is releasing Nov. 13 will all work within a 75-watt thermal envelope. In the first quarter of 2009, AMD will follow with low-watt parts-55 watts and high-watt processors that run at 105 watts.To help with the transition, AMD will use the same socket-Socket F (1207)-that was used with the 65-nm Opteron processor, and system vendors can incorporate Shanghai into their servers through a BIOS upgrade. AMD has also made sure that several of the larger OEMs-Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard-have new server systems ready to go at launch. A number of smaller vendors, including Appro, Verari Systems and Rackable Systems, are also offering support.
While the launch of the new Opteron processor is a significant milestone for AMD, it also marks a time when the company can begin talking about a new product instead of its inability to bring its 65-nm Opteron processor-formerly "Barcelona"-to market in 2007.