Advanced Micro Devices plans to formally introduce its next-generation Opteron central processing units (CPUs) code-named Interlagos and Valencia on Monday, September 26, 2011. The highly-anticipated introduction is expected to mark a new beginning in AMD’s history as the new chips feature the company’s first new micro-architecture in eight years.
AMD is eyeing the September 26 release date for its new “Valencia” Opteron 4200-series chips with six or eight cores as well as “Interlagos” Opteron 6200-series microprocessors with eight, twelve or sixteen cores, according to a report from PCMag, which cites a source familiar with the company's product roadmap. AMD expects new chips to offer 35% higher performance compared to existing AMD Opteron chips with up to twelve cores.
AMD needs the new Bulldozer-based microprocessors badly as its share on the server market declined in Q2 2011 to 5.5% down from 25.9% in Q2 2006, according to IDC. At present Intel outsells AMD in terms of servers 19 to 1. It is obvious that the release of even ground-breaking chips will not allow AMD to quickly fight back the share from Intel, it will take several quarters at least. Nonentheless, the company’s shipments of Opteron central processing units will either stabilize or will even grow a bit provided that they are competitive enough.
AMD Opteron microprocessor in G34 form-factor. The Opteron "Interlagos" uses the same.
Recently a server maker accidentally disclosed specifications of next-generation Opteron models that AMD seems to plan to release initially which sported pretty low clock-speeds:
- Opteron 6220: 8-core, 3.0GHz, 3.5GHz Turbo, 8MB L2, 8MB L3 cache
- Opteron 6234: 12-core, 2.4GHz, 2.9GHz Turbo, 12MB L2, 12MB L3 cache
- Opteron 6272: 16-core, 2.1GHz, 2.6GHz Turbo, 16MB L2, 16MB L3 cache
- Opteron 6276: 16-core, 2.3GHz, 2.8GHz Turbo, 16MB L2, 16MB L3 cache
Insufficient clock-speeds of Bulldozer are probably the reason why AMD now claims that the 16-core offering will be 35% faster than 12-core solution (which is natural, given 33% higher core count) and not 50%, as it initially expected. It is also noteworthy that Bulldozer's per-core performance is not projected to be much higher compared to existing microprocessors.
Dual-socket server running two AMD Opteron 6200-series "Interlagos" microprocessors
At present AMD is extremely tight-lipped about specifications, performance numbers, business opportunities and other peculiarities of its new Bulldozer-based microprocessors for servers. The company does show servers running the new processors, but shares no actual details and even does not show the chips themselves. The company insists that it would start revenue shipments of its new chips in August and some sources even indicate that the first batch of AMD Opteron 4200- and 6200-series will be shipped on the 5th of August, 2011.
AMD did not comment on the news-story.