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More than three years after rival Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices has managed to launch processors that officially work at 3.0GHz clock-speed, a landmark speed-bin. While performance-wise such chips are much faster compared to central processing units (CPUs) from Intel at the same frequency, AMD does not advertise the achievement, as the main focus now is on dual-core processors.

AMD has quietly added AMD Opteron models 256 and 856 processors for 2-way and 8-way systems into its price-list without even publishing a press release on the matter. The chips are made using 90nm process technology, operate at 3.0GHz, sport 1MB L2 cache and integrated dual-channel PC3200 memory controller with ECC support. The new chips are likely to be drop-in compatible with existing Socket 940 infrastructure and have thermal design power of around 95W.

While 3.0GHz is certainly a milestone for AMD, the accomplishment is not publicized any significantly, as the corner-stone of AMD’s current focus are dual-core and multi-core microprocessors, not just boosted clock-speeds of single-core CPUs. For instance, maximum clock-speed of AMD desktop single-core processors is 2.80GHz now and it is unlikely to rise from there until dual-core chips hit the speed-bin.

AMD Opteron models 256 and 856 cost $851 and $1514 in 1000-unit quantities. It is unclear which server and workstation builders will use the new AMD Opteron processors.

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