Googles Chip Search Leads to AMD

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-03-02 Print this article Print

The search giant is buying AMD Opteron processors for its servers, a report says.

Google has keyed in on Advanced Micro Devices chips, a report said.

The search giant has begun using AMDs Opteron processor in its Google servers due to the chips energy efficiency, according to Mark Edelstone, a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley in San Francisco.
Google, which has been known for having a tight relationship with Intel—Paul Otellini, Intels CEO, sits on Googles Board of Directors and the company has traditionally used Intel chips in its servers—will instead buy Opterons for most of its near-term server purchases, Edelstone wrote in a report released earlier this week.
"We believe that Google has started to buy AMD Opteron processors for nearly all of their new server purchases. We believe that Google currently has an installed base of more than 200,000 servers, and we believe that they will help AMD to enjoy a significant sequential increase in their server business in the first quarter," he wrote. "Based on our inputs, we believe that the compelling performance per watt attributes of Opteron is what drove the Google design win." Click here to read more about how 2006 is shaping up for AMD and Intel. Google, with its experience operating a large fleet of machines, has been fairly outspoken about power consumption in servers. Last August, for example, Urs Hölzle, Googles vice president of engineering and operations, joined Otelllini on stage during a keynote address to discuss chip power consumption. There he discussed the importance of power-efficiency in servers, stating that in some cases simply switching on server hardware and running it for its three-year lifetime can cost a company half as much as it paid for the hardware in electricity fees, according to a transcript of the speech posted on Intels Web site. A Google representative did not immediately return a phone call from eWEEK. An AMD spokesperson declined to comment. The decision by the search giant, as outlined by Edelstone, represents another endorsement of AMDs Opteron chip by an enterprise buyer. Opteron has been adopted more broadly by businesses of late, the company claims. Adding weight to its argument, AMDs share of x86 server processor shipments has risen steadily over the last few quarters to top 16 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005. In other news, Google on March 2 released a new Google Mini search appliance. The machine, which now starts at $1,995, can search up to 50,000 documents. Successively more expensive versions of the machine can search up to 300,000 documents. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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