Advanced Micro Devices or AMD has officially released their delayed and highly-anticipated 45-nm Opteron “Shanghai” processor for high-end workstations and servers. The long awaited chips feature high performance, multi-core processing ideal for virtualization, low power consumption and much more.
The announcement comes after AMD stumbled with their under-performing 65-nm “Barcelona” chips and had to play catch up to Intel and their Xeon powerhouse processor. Barcelona, despite AMD’s best efforts, was never capable of scaling to the frequencies required to aggressively compete against Yorkfield-based Xeon processors.
AMD’s new 45-nm Shanghai architecture beats most Intel Xeon’s in benchmark tests and includes a different Virtualization-geared architecture featuring AMD’s HyperTransport Technology.
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The new processors will ship in both low- and high-performance versions with new servers from Sun Microsystems, Dell and HP. Sun and Dell have been shipping limited quantities of standard-edition Shanghai for a few weeks now. ”When we first came to market we brought out the standard power (Shanghai) because that’s where the bulk of our market is,” said AMD server/workstation director John Fruehe. “As always, we follow up fairly quickly with the HE, which are the energy efficient models, and the SE, which are the high-performance models.”
With the increasing popularity of Virtualization, Multi-Core processing and power efficiency, AMD’s new chips come at a good time for a bruised server market. Certain AMD variations in processing architecture include the lack of a Front Side Bus and HyperTransport make AMD processors great at virtualization.
The five new low-power 45-nanometer quad-core AMD Opteron HE processors operate at 55-watts. Low-power HE processors, with speeds ranging from 2.1GHz to 2.3GHz, are designed to address a segment of the server market “that must maximize performance during peak hours while managing the energy costs during idle and low-utilization hours,” AMD said.
High-performance SE processors, which run at 2.8GHz, are targeted at customers with “the most performance-intensive datacenter workloads,” AMD said.
The future for AMD sees the upcoming 6-core 45-nm “Istanbul” processor due at the end of 2009 or most likely Q1 2010. Intel is working on their new Nehalem 6-core 45-nm core architecture for servers and workstations as well.
We’ll be getting a brand new “Shanghai” powered Sun Fire Server from Sun Microsystems in the coming weeks and we’ll be sure to test, analyze and review hardware from one of the best in the server business. Please stay tuned and keep checking back for new in-depth reviews, how to articles, and great content from AtomicSub!