AMD Revs Its 64-Bit Opterons

Three new 2.4GHz chips will be available in HP, IBM and Sun machines.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. on Tuesday will unveil three new models of its 64-bit Opteron chip that will feature better performance through higher frequencies and faster memory controllers.

The Opteron Model 250, for two-processor servers, will be available immediately, according to Ben Williams, vice president of AMDs server and workstation business unit. The 150, for one-way systems, and the 850, for four-ways and larger, will be released within the next 30 days, Williams said.

The new chips—which Williams said will start appearing in systems from such OEMs as Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc.—will come in at 2.4GHz. The fastest speed currently is 2.2GHz. Because the chips feature embedded memory controllers, the speed of the controllers also goes up as the processors frequency increases.

Last month, AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., celebrated the one-year anniversary of Opteron, a chip that unlike Intel Corp.s Itanium processor enables users to run 32-bit applications as well as it does 64-bit software. Intel this quarter is expected to roll out Nocona, the next generation of its 32-bit Xeon processor that, like Opteron, features 64-bit extensions.

/zimages/7/28571.gifClick here for ExtremeTechs "Dual CPU Shootout: Opteron vs. Xeon."

However, Opteron has other features that Xeons dont, including the on-die memory controllers and HyperTransport technology that enhance performance, AMD officials said.

Three of the top four OEMs have signed on to Opteron, with the only exception being Dell Inc.

/zimages/7/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Server & Networking Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.