updated 06:40 pm EDT, Wed May 7, 2008
AMD 6 and 12 core Opterons
AMD on Wednesday unveiled definitive plans for 6- and 12-core Opteron processors, made with a 45nm fabrication process, which will be available most likely during 2009. TG Daily writes that the company will continue to support the Socket F (1207) platform through to its 6-core, single-die Istanbul, but will make a departure from the standard in 2010, when AMD unveils its Maranello platform. Production samples of the 45nm chips have already been made available to vendors.
AMD will counter Intel's Nehelem platform with the Shanghai quad-core CPU, a version of the company's Barcelona processors. Shanghai reportedly uses 20-percent less power at idle than the 65nm versions, while also increasing speed by 20-percent. It will feature 6MB of L3 cache - triple that of the current platform - integrated 3-lane HT3 support, and support for 800MHz DDR2 memory.
The aforementioned Istanbul will be the first to introduce a 6-core model, in two-and four-socket configurations, and will feature lower processor speeds than Shanghai.
Maranello will see the company transition to DDR3 memory usage, and four HT3 lanes. The initial lineup will consist of the single-die 6-core Sao Paulo - which also features 6MB of cache - while the dual-die 12-core Magny Cours will follow with 12MB of L3 Cache.
Intel is anticipated to move to a 32nm fabrication process in late 2009, while estimates place AMD's entry into the market at late 2010. AMD claims that its current Barcelona quad-core processors are more energy efficient and more powerful than the Intel equivalents, citing up to 20-percent less power and 13-percent more performance. TG Daily tested AMD's claim, and found that Intel's Xeon 5440 systems are approximately 30-percent more powerful than the Barcelona.