AMD Releases Last of Single-Core Opterons

Sun and Hewlett-Packard are planning to use the x56 chips in servers and workstations.

Advanced Micro Devices is launching the last of its single-core Opteron processors, and both Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems are both offering systems running on the chips.

AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., announced April 11 that the 256 and 856 models are immediately available, and the 156 will be ready within 30 days.

The chips offer a speed bump up to 3GHz. In the years before launching its 64-bit platform, AMD had been hobbled by product delays and missed deadlines. However, officials hailed the release of the latest Opterons as the "successful execution and completion" of the companys single-core roadmap.

AMD has been able to use Opteron and its Athlon 64 client processor to carve away at Intels dominance in the chip space.

/zimages/4/28571.gifHewlett-Packard throws its weight behind AMD. Click here to read more.

Intel still holds a commanding market share of both the x86 server and client spaces, but AMD noted that, according to analyst firm Gartner, its market share in the server space had jumped from 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004 to 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter last year.

AMD officials said they plan to continue to offer the single-core chips as long as there is a demand for them.

Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., said it is offering Sun Fire servers and Sun Ultra 20 and 40 workstations with the new chips inside.

The hardware maker is relying on AMD technology to help establish it in the commodity server space. Sun in the fall of 2005 released the first of its "Galaxy" Opteron-based systems, and is planning a blade server and eight-socket system later in 2006.

Sun in February cut prices on the current AMD-based Sun Fire systems as a way of putting pressure on systems running on Intels Xeon chips.

HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., which offers full lines of both Intel- and AMD-based systems, is putting the Model 256 into a workstation offering.

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