AMD Grows Its 64-Bit Opteron Line

The chip maker releases its 146 model for one-processor systems and its 846 model for eight-way servers-both running at 2GHz.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. on Tuesday continued growing its line of 64-bit Opteron chips, releasing its 146 model for one-processor systems and its 846 model for eight-way servers.


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The newest models, introduced at the OracleWorld show in San Francisco, come about a month after the latest addition, the 246 for two-way systems, and two weeks before the Sunnyvale, Calif., company rolls out Athlon 64, its 64-bit chip for desktops and laptops.

AMD, which released its much-anticipated Opteron chips in April, already has 10 models, ranging from one-way workstations to eight-way servers.

The 146 is aimed at the workstation user as well as Internet and application service providers, according to an AMD spokesman.

Both of the new chips run at 2GHz, although the company downplays the clock speed of its processors. Currently, the 246 is the only other Opteron chip at 2GHz. The rest run at 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz.

Pricing for the new chips are $669 per 1,000 units of the 146, and $3,199 for the 846.


AMDs expansion comes at the same time that Intel Corp. is growing its own 64-bit line of Itanium chips. On Monday, Intel released two new low-power and low-cost versions of Itanium 2 aimed at such products as workstations and blade servers.

AMD officials contend that a key advantage of the Opteron technology is that it is based on x86 architecture, enabling it to run current 32-bit applications as well as 64-bit apps. Intels Xeon line of chips is designed for 32-bit applications, though the new Itanium 2 processors come with a 32-bit emulation layer. The layer enables it to run 32-bit applications as well, but with the relative power of a Pentium 4 processor.

AMD has picked up some support for Opteron, including from IBM, which has rolled out the two-way eServer 325 and has said it will build a two-way workstation powered by the chip.

In addition, in August Sun Microsystems Inc. said it was partnering with AMD to provide native support for Opteron in its Java platform. Microsoft Corp. also is working on a version of Windows Server 2003 for Opteron.