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AMD refreshes Opteron server chips, says Bulldozer on track

Advanced Micro Devices launched updated Opteron server chips in a bid to play market share catch-up to Intel's Xeon platform.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Advanced Micro Devices on Monday launched updated Opteron server chips in a bid to play catch up to Intel's Xeon platform.

As noted on AMD's earnings conference call last month, AMD was disappointed with its 2010 server chip performance. Steve Demski, product manager of AMD's server division, said the company "didn't see share pick up like we wanted in 2010."

To remedy that situation, AMD launched five new chips, four of which jump in frequency by 200 Mhz. AMD's 12-core models are designed for scalable applications and 8-core chips are designed to applications that need more clock speed.

Here's the rundown:

For good measure, Dell is launching a new server featuring the Opteron refresh. Dell's PowerEdge C6145 is designed for dense data centers and can pack 96 cores in a tight rackable package.

What remains to be seen is whether AMD's latest Opterons will garner much attention when its "Bulldozer" core is on schedule. Demski noted that Bulldozer-based chips have been sampling in the fourth quarter with production planned for the second and third quarters. "We are on track," said Demski. Bulldozer will provide better performance, faster memory frequencies and designs that would appeal to high performance computing customers.

"We will have extremely competitive products in 2011," said Demski. The challenge for AMD will be similar to what it faced in 2010. In 2010, there was financial uncertainty swirling around AMD and that curbed purchase. As 2011 gets under way AMD is actively looking for a new CEO.

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