Sources close to Advanced Micro Devices told X-bit labs that at least one system integrator would unleash a server powered by 8 AMD Opteron processors this week. So far server makers have only released 2-way or 4-way systems based on AMD64 chips, while 8-way designs were expected for introduction at a later date.
AMD supplies three series of Opteron processors – 100, 200 and 800 – designed for 1-way, 2-way and 4/8-way systems. AMD Opteron series 800 processors incorporate 1MB of L2 cache, 128KB of L1 cache as well as three Hyper-Transport links for connecting to other CPUs as well as to Hyper-Transport tunnels. Higher-speed AMD Opteron processors, such as 846 and 848, integrate dual-channel PC3200 memory controller that can address up to 1TB of memory, lower-speed Opteron chips boast dual-channel PC2700 memory controller.
An official slide presented at Platform Conference in 2002
Servers powered by 8 AMD Opteron processors are expected to handle up to 64GB of memory, PCI-X 64/133MHz slots, SCSI Ultra 320 controllers with hot-swap capability and other features naturally found on high-end enterprise server platforms.
In mid-February, 2004, Advanced Micro Devices slashed the prices on its central processing units for 4/8-way servers that are not really widely distributed these days. Commenting on the massive price reduction, an AMD spokesperson said that the company had given a sign to system makers by making the chips for high-end machines very affordable. AMD hardly sold a lot of Opteron 800 series chips in the first quarter, but is likely to find itself in a more favorable position in Q2 and Q3, when certified references for 4P servers and maybe even workstations are likely to appear and if the information about introduction of 8P systems turns to be correct.
AMD did not comment on the story. More information about organization of 8 processor systems based on AMD64 technology will be available when the systems are released.