With Barcelona, AMD will regain performance leadership and will be able to control pricing for a while, versus Intel, which has been hammering AMD on pricing at the low end processor segment, said industry analyst Nathan Brookwood of Insight 64.
"It looks like AMD is trying to match Intel in terms of both two-year cadence in process manufacturing cycles and in developing new cores. AMD didn't call its new core "tic-tock" like Intel (AMD's new cores are called Bobcat and Bulldozer). It will be interesting if either one can clean the others' clock," Brookwood quipped.
Brookwood was also impressed by Barcelona's performance. "They finally put at least one stake in the ground with SPECfp_rate2006 benchmark. The 69.5 score is the highest posted for a single chip so far. The 2.0 GHz Barcelona had a 30 percent per watt advantage versus Intel's Xeon 5345 quad core. "It's dramatically better than Xeon and better by 20 percent over the IBM Power6, the previous leader in the benchmark. It's clear the technical computing crowd is going to love this chip."
In that vein, the Texas Advanced Computing Center is working with Sun and AMD to create a Barcelona-based supercomputer that takes advantage of the processor's scalability and system architecture.
Regarding Bobcat, AMD's new core designed for mobile and consumer electronic devices, Brookwood said that AMD has more to bring to a system on a chip design than Intel because of its acquisition of ATI.