AMD paints Opteron chips by the numbers

The chipmaker on Thursday announced a new matrix of model numbers for its forthcoming 64-bit chips for workstations and servers. Instead of using a four-digit model number, similar to the scheme for its Athlon XP processor for PCs, the company chose to identify the new chips with a three-digit model number--resulting in models such as the AMD Opteron 140 Series--as a way to depict each particular chip's capabilities.

Opteron, AMD's next generation of high-end chips, is set to debut on April 22. The chips will be a key part of the company's efforts in 2003 to gain new business customers and also to return to profitability. AMD said that before finalizing the new Opteron model numbers, it consulted with its computer manufacturer customers and also its business customers and got favorable responses.

The chip is expected to start at speeds of about 2GHz. But the new model numbers don't reflect clock speed. Instead, they show whether a given chip is designed for single- or multiple-processor servers and then point to its performance relative to other chips in the same family, the company said. The new Opteron lines will include the 100 Series, for single-processor machines; the 200 Series, for dual-processor systems; and the 800 Series, for computers using up to eight processors. The individual chips will start their numbering at 40, so under the new nomenclature there would be a model 140, a model 240 and a model 840. As chip speed increases, so would the model number--a model 142, for instance, would be faster than a model 140, and a model 144 would be faster still.

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News source: c|net

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