Sunday, October 5, 2008

AMD Claims Forthcoming “Shanghai” Chip to Be 35% Faster than Existing

A vice president of Advanced Micro Devices said in an interview that the forthcoming quad-core AMD Opteron processor code-named Shanghai will have roughly 35% performance advantage over predecessor at the same clock-speed. If the information is correct, then AMD’s chips will have all chances to challenges products by arch-rival Intel in the higher-end segment.

Pat Patla, general manager of AMD’s server and workstation chip business, said in an interview with IDG News Service that AMD Opteron “Shanghai” would “give a 35% performance boost over Barcelona on average” and would also trim power consumption by 35%, which automatically transforms into colossal performance per watt improvements over existing quad-core AMD Opteron processors.

The advances are direct results of larger 6MB level-three cache, thinner 45nm process technology as well as micro-architectural improvements that boost instructions per clock (IPC) throughput.

Mr. Patla indicated that the first 45nm quad-core AMD Opteron chips that are scheduled to arrive in Q4 2008 will fit into mainstream 75W thermal envelope, whereas other models – which are due in Q1 2009 – will offer 55W thermal design power to fit into blade servers as well as 105W thermal envelop for high-performance machines.

It is very vital for AMD to initiate shipments of the new “Shanghai” processors on time and also to ensure that its performance and power consumption are viable when compared to Intel Xeon central processing units.

But that may not be easy for AMD: Intel Corp. recently initiated shipments of 6-core Intel Xeon processors for multi-processor servers that have all chances to become popular in high-performance mission-critical market segment. In addition, there are code-named Nehalem processors approaching the market of dual-processor servers. While it will take some time for Nehalem server chips to gain popularity on the market, AMD has to start to worry about Intel’s new microprocessors already.

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