Dual-Core Chip Spurs Rollouts

Systems vendors continue to fill out their lineups of Opteron-powered systems, drawn by the dual-core capabilities of AMD's processor.

Systems vendors continue to fill out their lineups of Opteron-powered systems, drawn by the dual-core capabilities of Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s processor.

At its JavaOne conference in San Francisco in late June, Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to roll out two new workstations, including one armed with an Opteron chip and bundled with the companys Java-based developer tools. For its part, Hewlett-Packard Co. in June launched several new and upgraded systems powered by the dual-core processors.

Second-tier systems makers also are embracing the chip. Verari Systems Inc., of San Diego, in June unveiled new blade servers—dubbed BladeRack 2—powered by either Opteron or Intel Corp.s single-core Xeon chips.

In addition, server and motherboard maker Supermicro Inc., of San Jose, Calif., a longtime Intel partner, has begun shipping Opteron-based products, in response to customer demand, officials said.

The Ultra 20 Workstation from Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., initially will offer a single-core Opteron but will be upgraded when AMD rolls out the dual-core 100 Series chip for single-socket systems in the third quarter. At the same time, AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., will add unbuffered memory support to most of its 100 Series chips, which officials said will help lower the cost of machines running them.

John Fowler, executive vice president of Suns Network Systems group, said x86 workstation demand continues to grow as users look for greater performance and lower costs.

The new workstation will come bundled with Solaris 10 and Java development tools and will support a variety of operating systems, including Linux and Windows.

HP launched the four-way ProLiant DL585 and a second-generation DL145, both with dual-core Opteron chips. In addition, the Palo Alto, Calif., company upgraded two blade servers, the BL25p and BL35p, with dual-core chips.

Starz Entertainment Group LLC, in Englewood, Colo., is using an HP system running dual-core Opterons to reformat video files. SEG has been using a four-processor ProLiant DL585 since April and has ordered two more four-way ProLiants.

Stephen Smith, manager of automation and system integration at SEG, said AMDs HyperTransport technology means greater bandwidth, lower latency and better performance in the systems.

"We get a lot more throughput from these processors than we do with Intel processors," Smith said. "What we do is very I/O-intensive. Because of the [chip] design by AMD, all eight cores have access to all the I/O."

The systems also will enable SEG to consolidate servers because the dual-core capabilities make it feasible to perform the file formatting jobs through software rather than dedicated hardware.


Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.