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AMD grabs for the data centre with low-power server chip

Pushes thermal envelope

Security for virtualized datacentres

AMD today launched low power quad-core Opteron processors for the x86 server market, once again playing catch-up with Intel.

The chip maker said that the high efficiency (HE) processors have a thermal envelope of 55 watts. That compares to the company’s other quad-core server chips that clock higher thermal envelopes of 105 watts or 75 watts.

AMD is punting the new processor as a data centre manager's dream chip. The firm’s server and workstation veep Randy Allen reckons virtualisation and power consumption represent “keys to solving their overall performance equation”.

The chips are available in both the 2300 and 8300 series for two-, four- and eight-way rack servers and blades.

Rival Intel pipped AMD to the post in March this year when it announced energy-efficient quad-core Xeon L5400 series which it claimed was up to 25 per cent faster than its preceding chips while keeping power consumption at a 50-watt thermal envelope.

Today's debutantes give AMD's frustrated customers something more to chew on while they sit around waiting for the six core processors it has promised for next year, and the 12 core beast it says it will ship in 2010.

No word yet on which server vendors will be supporting AMD's new low-power chips, however.

Last week Dell lined up behind AMD, when it announced a pair of new Opteron-powered boxes, including the six months late virtualization special R805. ®

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