AMD Bulldozer-Based Opterons Due in September: Report

AMD's "Valencia" and "Interlagos" Opteron chips, which will feature the chip maker's new Bulldozer core, will be released Sept. 26, according to a report.

The next generation of Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron processors, based on the upcoming "Bulldozer" core, could be released later next month, according to a report.

AMD's new Opteron 4200 Series "Valencia" Opterons-which will offer six to eight cores-and 6200 Series "Interlagos"-with 12 to 16 cores-will be released Sept. 26, according to an anonymous source quoted by PC Magazine.

AMD officials have promised a host of new capabilities in the Bulldozer-based Opterons that are designed to increase both the performance and the energy efficiency of the chips. The results are chips that offer as much as 50 percent more throughput than the current 12-core Opterons while staying within the same power envelope. A redesigned memory controller also will offer 30 percent more memory performance and a flexible 256-bit floating point unit, according to AMD officials.

In addition, AMD in Valencia and Interlagos will introduce a new feature called TDP Power Cap, which officials say will give enterprise users the ability to set the TDP (thermal design power) of their chips. Essentially, the TDP Power Cap will enable enterprises to customize their processors to a degree to meet power and workload demands.

In addition, logic built into the Bulldozer architecture, called Application Power Management, will manage the power budget and power resources, including pushing power to specific cores when needed to keep them below the TDP setting, according to AMD officials

Valencia, like the current generation of 4000 Series Opterons, is aimed at single- and dual-socket systems that are cost-effective and energy efficient. According to AMD roadmaps, the next step in the evolution of the chip will come in 2012, with the release of "Sepang," which will off up to 10 Bulldozer cores. For the Opteron 6000 series-built for high-end two- and four-socket servers-Interlagos will be followed next year by "Terramar," which AMD officials say will have as many as 20 Bulldozer cores.

During the company's second-quarter earnings call July 21, AMD officials touted the upcoming Bulldozer Opterons as key factors in keeping the momentum generated in the first half of the year going. AMD saw gains in its share of the worldwide chip market during the second quarter thanks in large part to the releases of chips in its new Fusion initiative that started in January.

AMD saw its share grow to 19.4 percent in the quarter, up from 17.8 percent during the same period last year, according to numbers late last month from research firm Mercury Research. However, AMD still trails rival Intel, which is the top chip maker in the world, with 79.9 percent market share, Mercury said. That was down from 81.3 percent in the second quarter of 2010.

Thomas Seifert, CFO and interim CEO, and Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Product Group, said they expect the market-share numbers to improve as more Fusion chips-which offer high-level graphics and CPUs integrated onto the same piece of silicon-roll out and as the Bulldozer-based Opterons are released.