AMD Opteron Release Date:
April 22, 2003, (added new versions June 30, and September 9)
The AMD Opteron processor for servers and workstations was first introduced this year in April. The chip is designed to run existing 32-bit applications and newer 64-bit software on a specialized x86 architecture. Its integrated memory controller and HyperTransport feature enhances the chip's performance by substantially increasing system bandwidth. Positioned to compete on flexibility and price against Intel's Itanium 2 and Xeon MP Processors, Operton will be used by several manufacturers, such as IBM, mainly in low-cost servers.
Opteron is now offered in three series: the 100 series (1-way), the 200 series (1 to 2-way), and the 800 series (up to 8-way). According to an article published in June, AMD will attempt to make significant gains with an aggressive pricing strategy for four-processor servers based on the Opteron 800. IBM is now using the Opteron 246 model in its eServer 325, designed for computing clusters.
Background on AMD Opteron
Last November, AMD took action to cut expenses and announced that it would heavily target the corporate market in 2003 in hopes of pulling itself back into profitability. An article highlights the company's ambitions, including a brief overview of upcoming releases across all of the chipmaker's product lines.
A day before Opteron's debut, News.com editor Michael Kanellos thoroughly detailed the processor's competitive positioning, features, and specifications. In addition to the popular 64-bit vs. 32-bit debate, he also covered some of the key challenges that lie ahead for AMD.
Gartner analysts say that AMD's marketing effort to push 64-bit computing may be inappropriate but still view Opteron in a positive light. A short analysis lists the server applications where the firm thinks the processor deservers consideration.