AMD Gives Away Twelve-Core Microprocessors

AMD Raffles Opteron “Magny-Cours” Chips

by Anton Shilov
03/05/2010 | 12:32 PM

What would you do with 48 processor cores? This is the question one would have to answer in order to obtain four twelve-core AMD Opteron “Magny-Cours” microprocessors along with supporting hardware and software for free.


“We are seeking your best essays, videos, or blog posts documenting how you might use 48 cores,” said John Fruehe is the director of product marketing for server/workstation products at AMD

One winner will be selected and awarded with:

Approximate retail value of all prizes is $8189. The exact details of the contest are available at AMD’s web-site.

“We’re planning to introduce these processors this quarter and we want to make sure that you get your opportunity to showcase how great your ideas are. Tell us what you can do with 48 cores to make the world a better, more interesting place, delivering the top performance or optimizing power. Of course creativity will be awarded, so don’t be afraid to show the fun side of servers,” Mr. Fruehe said.

According to preliminary information from unofficial sources, the mainstream line of twelve-core AMD Opteron 6000-series processors will consist of three chips operating at 1.90GHz, 2.10GHz and 2.20GHz. Besides, AMD will also release highly efficient (HE) and special edition (SE) AMD Opteron 6000 microprocessors with twelve processing engines functioning at 1.70GHz and 2.30GHz, respectively. In addition, AMD plans to launch three standard-voltage eight-core chips at 2.0GHz, 2.30GHz and 2.40GHz frequencies along with two HE eight-core processors at 1.80GHz and 2.0GHz clock-speeds. In order to ensure maximum stability, all AMD’s twelve-core processors will come with reduced clock-speed of integrated memory controller and L3 cache (1.80GHz) compared to six-core and quad-core products.

Even though clock-speeds of AMD Opteron 6000-series processors are not high, AMD will still increase thermal design power of Maranello server platform. Based on preliminary information, AMD G34 (1944-pin) CPUs will have 85W, 115W or 140W TDP, which is somewhat higher compared to TDPs supported by existing multi-processor platforms.

The company hopes that its next-generation servers will still offer great performance-per-watt despite of higher power consumption of twelve-core and eight-core chips thanks to increased amount of cores and other innovations of the next-gen platforms. In particular, the new processors will have HyperTransport bus speed increased to 6.4GT/s, which will increase performance scalability, as well as Cool Speed and C1E technologies to reduce power consumption. In addition, it can be expected that Globalfoundries 45nm silicon-on-insulator process technology will improve a bit by the end of Q1 2010.

AMD Opteron “Magny-Cours” processor will be the first chip for the AMD G34 “Maranello” platform designed for Opteron processors 6000-series with up to 16 cores, quad-channel memory interface, 2 or 4 sockets, up to 12 memory modules per socket and some server and enterprise-specific functionality. Magny-Cours microprocessors feature two six-core or quad-core dies on one piece of substrate.