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Advanced Micro Devices, the world’s No.2 microprocessor manufacturer, today announced faster versions of its AMD Opteron processors engineered for workstations and servers, marking mass availability of 2.40GHz 64-bit processors on the market of mission-critical applications.

AMD64 at 2.40GHz Now in Servers

The AMD Opteron x50 processors are clocked at 2.40GHz and are available in various flavours, forming a comprehensive lineup of powerful chips for uni-processor, dual-processor and multi-processor servers as well as workstations. As all the latest Opteron microprocessors, the SKUs support PC3200 and PC2700 registered DDR SDRAM memory with ECC.

AMD Opteron processors are designed to serve variety of servers and workstations, including mission-critical enterprise servers. The processors incorporate 1MB of L2 cache, 128KB of L1 cache as well as a number of Hyper-Transport links for connecting to another CPU as well as to Hyper-Transport tunnels. All Opteron processors integrate dual-channel DDR SDRAM memory controller that can address up to 1TB of memory.

AMD Opteron models 150, 250 and 850 are drop-in compatible with existing AMD64 server and workstation infrastructure.

Future Chips Looming In

According to some sources, Advanced Micro Devices is also about to transit production of the AMD Opteron central processing units to CG revision in order to advance yield and “maintain competitive frequency curves”. The new revision is likely to power faster AMD Opteron processors initially, but is also expected to move into all Opteron chips eventually. CG version of AMD64 server processors will fix some errata and enhance thermal management capabilities, sources said.

While 2.40GHz is not a real landmark for AMD64 processors, it is pretty remarkable that this is likely to become the final speed for AMD’s 64-bit microprocessors at 0.13 micron process technology. Faster processors are only slated to be available once AMD starts to successfully utilize its 90nm SOI fabrication process late in 2004 or early in 2005. Even though AMD will indisputably make its best to stay competitive with Intel Corp.’s Xeon processors, it is not clear if the company has chances to roll-out 2.60GHz processors in volumes using its 130nm Silicon-on-Insulator process technology.

64-bit Servers Get Cheaper

The AMD Opteron 250 is priced at $851 in 1000-unit quantities; the AMD Opteron 850 will be priced at $1514 in 1000-unit quantities; the AMD Opteron processor 150 will be priced at $637 in 1000-unit quantities. When unveiled initially, flagship chips in 100, 200 and 800 series cost $669, $794 and $2149 respectively, which means that today AMD Opteron uni-processor and multi-processor servers are much more affordable, whereas dual-chip servers or workstation are a bit more expensive than AMD proposed originally.

AMD Opteron 250 processors are available now, AMD Opteron 150 and 850 chips will be available within 30 days from now, AMD said.

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