AMD Begins to Ship Next-Generation "Bulldozer" Opteron Chips for Servers

AMD Confirms Revenue Shipments of Opteron "Interlagos"

by Anton Shilov
09/07/2011 | 05:41 AM

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday confirmed that it had begun revenue shipments of its next-generation Opteron microprocessors powered by Bulldozer micro-architecture with up to sixteen cores and known under Interlagos code-name. The first servers based on the new chips will be available by the end of September.

 

"This is a monumental moment for the industry as this first 'Bulldozer' core represents the beginning of unprecedented performance scaling for x86 CPUs. The flexible new 'Bulldozer' architecture will give Web and datacenter customers the scalability they need to handle emerging cloud and virtualization workloads," said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager of AMD products group.

Initial production of the world's first 16-core x86 processor for 2-4 socket servers, codenamed "Interlagos", began in August and shipping to customers is already underway, according to AMD. It is unclear whether the company also began to ship its Opteron 4200-series code-named Valencia products aimed at 1-2 socket servers for revenue as well.

Even though AMD confirmed that it had started revenue shipments of the next-generation AMD Opteron chips, it remained tight-lipped about specifications, performance numbers, business opportunities and other peculiarities of its new Bulldozer-based microprocessors for servers.

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 an unofficial report, 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.

Recently a server maker accidentally disclosed specifications of next-generation Opteron models that AMD seems to plan to release initially:

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. Nonetheless, the company’s shipments of Opteron central processing units will either stabilize or will even grow a bit provided that they are competitive enough.