AMD promises big jump in performance with Magny Cours

Upcoming Opteron 6100 series processors will be available with eight and 12 cores

Advanced Micro Devices is gearing up for the 2010 launch of Magny Cours, a more powerful Opteron server processor that will pack up to 12 cores and use faster memory chips.

"From 2009 to 2010, we're going to have the biggest jump in performance in Opteron history," said Pat Patla, vice president and general manager of AMD's server business, during a presentation at AMD's 2009 Analyst Day on Wednesday.

Leading this jump in performance will be Magny Cours, a chip that's primarily designed for 2-socket and 4-socket servers and uses faster DDR3 memory. Magny Cours will be the heart of AMD's Maranello server platform and will be sold as the Opteron 6100 series processor.

Two versions of Magny Cours will be offered, one with eight cores and one with 12. Both chips will be manufactured by GlobalFoundries using a 45-nanometer manufacturing process.

Magny Cours will be available during the first quarter of 2010.

AMD will also ship a new Opteron chip designed for servers with one or two processor sockets. Codenamed Lisbon, this chip will be available with four and six cores and will be called the Opteron 4100 series.

Lisbon will be used with two server platforms: the San Marino platform and the Adelaide platform, which is designed for ultra-low power consumption.

Lisbon will be available during the second quarter of 2010.

In 2011, Magny Cours will be replaced by Interlagos, a more powerful 32-nanometer chip that will come with 12 and 16 cores based on AMD's Bulldozer microarchitecture.

Lisbon will be succeeded by Valencia, a 32-nanometer chip offering six and eight cores based on Bulldozer.

While AMD's products will fit into a range of server designs, the company is pursuing what Patla called a "sweet-spot strategy," concentrating most of its efforts on two-socket servers, which AMD estimates represent about 75 percent of the overall server market.

By comparison, the company estimates single-socket servers make up 20 percent of the market and four-socket and eight-socket servers represent the remaining five percent.

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