AMD Rolls Out Low-power Quad-core Opteron CPUs


Sunnyvale (CA) - AMD’s B3 stepping Barcelona processors appear to be finally on track as the company continues to announce new design wins and new models joining the existing line-up. The company is now offering ’HE’ of its dual- as well as 4P and 8P socket versions of its processors, offering an alternative to six competing Intel quad-core CPUs.

The new processors include three 2P versions (2344HE, 1.7 GHz; 2346He, 1.8 GHz and 2347 HE, 1.9 GHz) as well as two 4P and 8P models (8346HE, 1.8 GHz and 8347HE, 1.9 GHz) and expand AMD’s portfolio into a market in which the company needs to regain market share from Intel in order to achieve its profitability goals.

The fact that the TLB bug delayed the launch of these processors by about 8 months has turned out to be a major problem for AMD, as Intel has been the only option for companies that transitioned their servers to faster or energy-efficient quad-core processors. Even if AMD claims that these new HE-series CPUs are the first power-efficient quad-core server processors with an integrated memory controller, there is no denying that Intel shipped millions of quad-core CPUs before and had "power-efficient" quad-core processors available for several months: Intel currently offers the Xeon MP L7345 (65 nm, 1.86 GHz, 50 watt) as well as five 50 watt DP models (1.6 to 2.5 GHz), two of them being 45 nm versions.

AMD rates its new HE Opterons at a power consumption of 55 watts. However, this value is described as "ACP" (Average CPU Power), which is AMD’s way to describe the power consumption of its processors and which is different from the "TDP" (Thermal Design Power) that Intel uses to come up with a value for its processors. Server vendors told TG Daily that there is virtually no way to reliably predict which processor will be more power efficient in different application environments. The only way to reliably measure the power consumption of server systems is to actually put test systems in place and evaluate them in a real-world scenario.