AMD Ramps Up Dual-Core Opterons to 3GHz

AMD improves its dual-core line before the quad-core Barcelona model debuts later this month.

In the weeks leading up to the debut of its quad-core Opteron processor, Advanced Micro Devices has released several dual-core models that offer clock speeds of 3GHz.

Starting Aug. 6, AMD will offer two dual-core Opterons—the 8222 and the 2222—each with a clock speed of 3GHz. Both of these processors offer up to 2MB of L2 cache and thermal envelopes of 95 watts. The Opteron 2222 sells for $698 per 1,000 units shipped, while the 8222 model is priced at $1,514.

In addition, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company will also offer the Opteron 1222, again running at 3GHz and with a 2MB of L2 cache, but with a thermal envelope of 103 watts. Starting price for this processor is $360 per 1,000 units shipped, according to the companys Web site.

Finally, AMD also is releasing two high-performance dual-core processors. The Opteron 8224 SE and the Opteron 2224 SE each are clocked at 3.2GHz and also offer a total of 2MB of L2 cache. Both chips also use thermal envelopes of 119 watts.

The Opteron 8224 SE is priced at $2,149 per 1,000 units shipped, while the Opteron 2224 SE is priced at $873, according to AMD.

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AMD is adding additional models to its dual-core lineup just a few weeks before its quad-core model, "Barcelona," is expected to debut. After the initial release, AMD plans to ramp up the availability of its quad-core chip in September.

When its first released, Barcelona will offer a clock speed of 2GHz, which some analysts said is below expectations. At a recent meeting of analysts, Randy Allen, vice president of AMDs server division, said the company will increase the speed of its offerings soon after the initial launch.

Later in the year, AMD will release a Barcelona HE model—the designation standards for a processors with a higher power efficiency—with clock speed of 1.9GHz. In addition, the company plans to offer an SE or high-performance model with a clock speed of 2.3GHz.

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While not all the specifics of Barcelona have been released, AMD executives have said that the processors will work within the same thermal envelopes as its dual-core chips. Specifically, the quad-core models will fall within the 68- to 95-watt range.

Barcelona will use the same 1,207-pin socket that is now used with the companys dual-core Opteron, which will allow users—once the BIOS are upgraded—to switch to the quad-core processor without a major upgrade to the platform.

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