AMD Unveils Long-Awaited Energy-Efficient Chip

AMD Unveils Long-Awaited Energy-Efficient Chip

Advanced Micro Devices' new Quad-Core Opteron processor, which has long been known by its code name, Barcelona, will give IT pros a new way to manage their data centers' energy use.

The new chips are the company's first four-core products, which feature four processors on one silicon wafer. The new chips incorpate a series of designs to make them more energy efficient, including the company's CoolCore technology, which can turn off unused parts of the processor, and Independent Dynamic Core Technology that allows each of the cores to run only as fast as needed.

As part of its campaign to sway IT professionals (the Barcelona processors are aimed squarely at data centers; AMD will release a different class of quad-core processors for desktops later this year), the company is highlighting both the energy efficiency of the new chips as well as the fact that the company worked with the big players in virtualization to make sure the processors would meet the needs of virtualization solutions from Microsoft, VMWare and XenSource.

Several companies announced yesterday that they would be adopting the new AMD chips. Rackspace said it would be the first hosting company to offer the quad-core chips in its servers, citing the importance of energy efficiency and virtualization to its business strategy. Lucasfilm said it would upgrade the processors in its movie-making data centers from dual-core AMD chips to the new quad-core models. And Rackable Systems announced it would use the chips on some of its servers.
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