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AMD to bring forward dual-core Opteron debut?

Two-core chips coming as server chip turns two...

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AMD may be about to bring forward the launch of its dual-core Opteron server processors by a quarter. So suggest sources from among Taiwan's server manufacturing community, but there's circumstantial evidence to support the claim, too.

According to a DigiTimes report, which cites the aforementioned Taiwanese sources, the dual-core launch may have been re-scheduled for mid-Q2, ie. May, from some time in Q3.

The chip maker's public schedule calls for a mid-2005 release, but with Intel expected to launch its dual-core Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition processors in Q2, AMD may not want to be seen to debut its dual-core chips after its arch-rival does.

Launches and ship dates are not necessarily the same thing, of course, so we shouldn't perhaps anticipate product appearing any sooner, from either company, if launch dates are indeed brought forward.

AMD has already said it will announce the specifications of its 'Pacifica' virtualisation system later this month, but since it has said it will ship Pacifica-enabled processors early in 2006, that's probably not enough to indicate an early arrival for dual-core Opterons.

Stronger evidence comes in the form of the shindig AMD is going to be hosting in New York later this month, ostensively to mark Opteron's second birthday - the 64-bit server chips were launched in the Big Apple on 22 April 2003. Nice as it is to mark such an anniversary so ostentatiously, we can't help but wonder if AMD has an ulterior motive. Launching two-core Opterons two years (geddit?!?) after its launched the single-core version has a certain ring to it, and it's the kind of jingle marketing types usually prove unable to resist.

The dual-core 8xx, 2xx and 1xx series Opterons are codenamed 'Egypt', 'Italy' and 'Denmark', respectively. All three are to be fabbed at 90nm. The 8xx and 2xx are likely to ship first, followed some weeks later by the 1xx parts. ®

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