AMD ships 16-core server chips, servers due in Q4

Servers with the new 16-core Opteron server chips could come in the next month, one analyst said

Advanced Micro Devices this week said it has shipped the first 16-core chips for servers, which is a positive step ahead for the company as it tries to reverse its sagging fortunes in the server market.

Servers based on AMD's 16-core Opteron chip, code-named Interlagos, will become available in the fourth quarter, AMD said in a statement. However, since products typically come out shortly after chips are released, Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research, suspects the servers might appear sooner.

Further details on the chip, such as clock speed and power consumption, will be shared in the fourth quarter, a company spokesman said.

The chip will be part of the Opteron 6200 chip family and will be based on the company's new Bulldozer microarchitecture. AMD has said that Bulldozer processors will be up to 50 percent faster and include more memory throughput than current 12-core Opteron 6100 chips. The Bulldozer architecture mixes floating point units and CPU cores to execute more operations per clock cycle at lower power consumption.

The 16-core chips will be scalable for cloud and virtualization workloads, the company said in a statement.

AMD had only a 5.5 percent market share in the server processor market during the second quarter this year, while Intel held a 94.5 percent share, according to IDC. AMD late last month appointed a new CEO, Rory Read, and analysts have said that one of his top priorities needs to be boosting the high-margin server business.

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