AMD rolls dice on Opteron chip

Advanced Micro Devices will come out with a new chip on Tuesday--and once again, everything is on the line. The Opteron processor, first revealed in 1999, represents the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's best opportunity ever to sell chips to corporate customers and into the lucrative server market. The chip sports two major features for enhancing performance--HyperTransport, for linking chips, and an integrated memory controller for speeding up the data flow between memory and the processor. Benchmarks from AMD suggest that the chip will increasingly outperform Intel's equivalent Xeon chip.

More importantly, the Opteron can run 32-bit Windows-Linux software, which is found on desktops and small servers around the world, and 64-bit software, which is used on high-end servers. The 64-bit software that will run on the chip will be almost identical to the kinds of applications and operating systems corporate customers use now, making it easy and cheap to adopt. A desktop version of the chip, called Athlon 64, which can be used on anything from laptops to scientific workstations, comes out belatedly in September.

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News source: c|net

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