AMD releases server chip made on .13 micron process

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) increased the performance of its family of chips for servers and workstations Tuesday with the release of the Athlon MP 2200+ processor.

The chip runs at 1.8GHz, and is the first server and workstation chip from AMD to be manufactured on its 0.13-micron process technology. As of Tuesday, AMD will also offer the Athlon MP 2000+ in a 0.13-micron version.

The smaller process allows AMD to reduce its die sizes, resulting in production of more chips from its silicon wafers. This smaller die size also improves the chips' performance and power consumption, said Scott Gude, marketing manager for AMD.

"Low power consumption is key for individuals in heavy-compute environments, and we've cut the power consumption by 12 percent over our 0.18 micron process technology," he said.

The chip is designed to be used in either single or multiprocessor configurations in servers and workstations. The inclusion of a dedicated bus for each processor gives a server with the 2200+ an advantage over systems set up with a single front-side bus sharing the load of two processors, which can lead to system tie-ups and low throughput, Gude said.

The 2200+ will compete against Intel Corp.'s Xeon processors for servers and workstations. Intel also makes a 64-bit chip, Itanium 2, for high-end servers.

AMD, based in Sunnyvale, California, plans to release a 64-bit server chip of its own in 2003, called Opteron. At that point, it will be able to compete with Intel and RISC (reduced instruction set computing) chips from companies like Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp. for the high end of the server market.

The 2200+ will be available worldwide as of Tuesday from 34 system vendors. Over 160 hardware manufacturers currently use Athlon MP chips in their servers and workstations, and are expected to upgrade to the 2200+, said Gude.

The 2200+ will sell for $224, in 1,000-unit quantities. With the announcement, AMD cut prices on the other versions of its Athlon MP family, a standard practice by chipmakers when introducing a new chip.

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Tom Krazit

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