AMD Launches the First 16-Core Server Chip

AMD Opteron Chip

AMD Opteron ChipAdvanced Micro Devices unveiled the industry-first 16-core microprocessor, code-named Interlagos. but now the Opteron 6200 processor. AMD says the product offers 84 percent better performance, 73 percent better memory bandwidth and better power efficiency with half the power per core. With the 6200s, companies will save about two thirds on both floor space and platform costs, AMD claims. It also touts them as being highly scalable and ideal for cloud computing and virtualization.

The company also introduced the Opteron 4200 series, formerly code-named Valencia. Both series had been delayed for more than a quarter and AMD, a perennial underdog to market-dominating Intel, is reported to be offering aggressive prices.

Supercomputer maker Cray, which just landed a $188 million contract to build out the “Blue Waters” system at the University of Illinois, says Monday it will use 49,000 of the new AMD chips in the project. Acer, Dell, HP and others are expected to announce projects in the coming days using the chips.

In early November, AMD announced plans to reduce its work force by 10 percent, about 1,400 people, in an effort to reduce operating costs by $118 million in 2012. Despite its problems in getting the new chips out the door, the company posted a profit of $97 million in the third quarter. Meanwhile, there are rumors that AMD is slimming down in hopes of snagging a date with Apple.

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