During a session exploring Second Life at the AMD Global Vision Conference, Linden Lab CTO Cory Ondrejka (pictured below) outlined the basics of the virtual world, which he said attracted 750,000 users in August and is growing at 15 percent per month. Unfortunately for AMD, Ondrejka said that his company has switched from AMD dual core Operton’s to Intel’s new Core Duo chips, which he said have a superior CPU/$ ratio, including the cost of power to run servers. However, he threw AMD a bone, saying that he was looking forward the quad-core AMD chips, which aren't due until mid-2007.
I asked AMD CTO Phil Hester when he would get Second Life back in the fold. He acknowledged the horserace, and noted that Second Life's benchmarks are atypical--100 percent utilization on a 24x7 basis. Hester hopes that Ondrejka will take a look at the new Rev F Opterons, which add new AMD-V virtualization technology and Double Data Rate (DDR2) memory. Intel also has hardware virtualization and is FB-DIMM (fully buffered dual inline memory modules), a sequel to DDR2 that provides higher capacity.
Ondrejka, of course, likes the competition between AMD and Intel. It pushes the technology, drives up performance in Second Life's 250 square miles of virtual world and lowers the cost to deliver the bits.