Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Advanced Micro Devices Re-Initializes Shipments of Quad-Core AMD Opteron Processors

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday said it re-started shipments of quad-core AMD Opteron processors for servers and workstations after stopping supplying them late last year due to a bug. Besides, the company also quietly unveiled higher-speed quad-core Opteron chips, which makes the lineup more competitive against Intel Corp.’s quad-core Xeon family.

“AMD did not feel comfortable shipping a chip with the problem. We’re glad to have this one errata behind us. This is a product we’ve been waiting to offer for a long time,” said Steve Demski, AMD Opteron product manager, reports IDG news-services.

Back in November, 2007, AMD discovered that due to a bug in the quad-core processor’s Translation Lookaside Buffer (TLB) the system may crash under high load. While no end-users complained about such a problem, AMD decided to impose a fix for the erratum. In the meantime, AMD stopped to ship its quad-core AMD Opteron chips for servers and workstations. The B3 stepping of both AMD Phenom and AMD Opteron processors are TLB-related error free, however, it took the company nearly half a year to start commercial shipments of such chips after the bug was discovered.

In addition to reinitiating shipments of quad-core AMD Opteron processors the world’s second largest maker of chips also unveiled nine new chips with four processing engines operating at higher clock-speed than before. The new AMD Opteron processors 2300- and 8300 series operate at 2.10GHz, 2.20GHz and 2.30GHz with 75W thermal design power (TDP), whereas the new “Special Edition” quad-core processors with 125W TDP can run at 2.40GHz and 2.50GHz.

With faster chips for serves and high-end workstations AMD Opteron lineup becomes not only more competitive against Intel’s family of quad-core Xeon processors, but allows AMD to sell the newly unveiled chips at higher price-points, which boosts the company’s revenues and profitability.

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