by Anton Shilov
03/17/2010 | 07:09 AM
UPDATE: Adding AMD's comment regarding support from first-tier server makers.
Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday said that its forthcoming AMD Opteron “Magny-Cours” central processing units (CPUs) that are due out in the coming weeks have received broad support among infrastructure partners. According to AMD, sixteen makers of servers will unveil new machines based on the chips with eight or twelve cores.
“Our industry partners are ready to showcase the advantages of AMD’s new Direct Connect Architecture 2.0. The additional performance enabled with more cores, more memory channels and more features is a value their customers are eager to put to work,” said Patrick Patla, vice president and general manager, server and embedded divisions at AMD.
AMD Opteron “Magny-Cours” processor is supposed to transform the server market and to dramatically improve competitive position of AMD on the server market thanks to twelve x86 processing engines, quad-channel memory controller as well as new high-speed chip-to-chip interconnection. But the new chips for 4-way servers require new AMD SR5690/SP5100 core-logic along with new mainboards with new sockets, therefore, industrial support is crucial for the success of the new CPUs.
According to the Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker, Appro, Asustek Computer, Atipa Technologies, Colfax, Directron, Gigabyte Technology, MicroStar International, Microway, Nortech, Penguin, Servers Direct, SGI, Silicon Mechanics and ZT Systems, sixteen makers in total, will be offering next generation 8- and 12-core systems in the coming weeks.
AMD also said that that the first-tier makers of servers – such as Dell, HP, IBM and others – which do offer AMD Opteron-based machines today, will also support the next-generation AMD Opteron 6000-series microprocessors when they are available.
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 (due out next year), 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. AMD has already started revenue shipments of its new chips.
“MSI has developed the new 8- and 12-core regular server platform solutions for enterprise environments that demand high density and expandability. These customers’ workloads also require reliability, availability and security features that the new AMD Opteron 6100-series processor brings to this new product line,” said Norman Tsai, vice president of enterprise platform R&D division at MSI.
Both leading market tracking firms – Gartner and IDC –have reported a renewed confidence in x86 server sales, with Gartner “predicting a return to shipment growth in the middle or high single digits and revenue growth at a slightly lower level” and IDC calling the innovation that occurred in 2009 an “expanding market opportunity in 2010 and beyond”. This makes the competition occurring this month more important than ever. Based on this expanding market, AMD has a strategy to attack the volume segment of that market. This year the company will launch high-end server platform code-named Maranello for 2-way/4-way servers with G34 sockets (1944-pin) and AMD Opteron 6000-series microprocessors as well as code-named Lisbon and Adelaide platforms for 1-way/2-way mainstream servers with for AMD Opteron 4000-series chips in C32 form-factor (1207-pin).
“AMD has the right strategy to capitalize on the rebounding server market by offering targeted platforms for the high end and low end of the volume market. We are able to offer extreme performance scalability in one platform, while delivering cost efficiency and unrivaled power efficiency in the other. When it comes to addressing customer’s needs with a smarter platform and overall value, we are going to beat the competition. Period,” said Mr. Patla.