AMD’s Dual-Core Opteron Processors May Reach 2.40GHz Speeds

AMD's Dual-Core Server Plans Sketched

by Anton Shilov
12/30/2004 | 03:28 PM

Advanced Micro Devices’ dual-core server processors to be released in mid-2005 will consume from 30W to 95W of power and will operate at core-speeds of 1.60GHz to 2.40GHz, according to data presumably sent by AMD to its partners among server components makers.


AMD’s High-End Dual-Core to Operate at 2.40GHz with 95W TDP

According to a report from The Inquirer web-site, dual-core AMD Opteron processors will be supplied in 30W, 55W and 95W thermal envelopes. AMD Opteron 160, 260 and 860 chips that consume only about 30W of power will operate at 1.60GHz. AMD Opteron processors 170, 270 and 870 are claimed to work at 2.00GHz, while AMD Opteron products 175, 275 and 875 will function at 2.20GHz; both x70 and x75 chips have TDP of 55W. AMD Opteron processors that have TDP of 95W, such as 175, 275, 875 and 180, 280 and 880 will operate at 2.20GHz and 2.40GHz, the article suggests.

Clock-speeds of 2.20GHz and 2.40GHz are currently considered as high-end of expectations and may be released later than the rest of the chips. Still, the web-site claims the products are to be launched in 2005, even though it does not indicate, whether in mid-2005, or later-2005.

Thermal Design Power of 95W is only slightly above compared to today’s single-core AMD Opteron chips at 2.40GHz produced at 130nm process technology and even slightly below today’s Intel Xeon processors which have TDP of 103W. AMD’s dual-core Opteron microprocessors are expected to be made using 90nm fabrication process.

AMD’s officials did not comment on the story.

AMD’s Direct Connect Shows Path to Multi-Core Designs


Sunnyvale, California-based AMD says its AMD64 architecture was developed to allow multiple processing engines inside single microprocessor from the ground up, a peculiarity AMD names Direct Connect Architecture. All AMD’s 64-bit Opteron processors shipping today were designed to add second processing core, which means that the chips contained crossbar/system request interface.


Each processing engine has its own level-two cache, which means that the chip contains more than 2MB of onboard memory, but one dual-channel memory controller as well as three HyperTransport links. AMD does not reveal much details about the dual-core architecture and organization, for instance, it is not clear at the moment how the data from the cache of one core is copied to the cache of the second core.


AMD Opteron and AMD Athlon 64 processors are able to execute both 32-bit and 64-bit software natively, offering seamless industry transition to 64-bit computing within conventional x86 architecture.


Dual-Core Chips Can be Plugged into Servers Shipping Today


Dual-core AMD Opteron processors are said to be compatible with Socket 940 infrastructure for AMD Opteron processors produced using 90nm process technology. The only thing, AMD said, needed to drop the dual-core chips into 4-way HP ProLiant DL535 server was a simple BIOS upgrade. The company said servers from IBM, Sun and HP would support dual-core upgrade. Nevertheless, AMD did not specify servers available today that are compatible with forthcoming dual-core microprocessors.


AMD expects the upcoming dual-core AMD Opteron processor to provide better performance on a majority of server/workstation workloads by combining two processing cores on a single die. The form factor, energy consumption and performance needs of today's computer designs demand new innovations. Dual-core processor technology will equip customers with more balanced performance based on industry-standard system architecture.