A monolithic semiconductor substrate

Chip Design Journal

Subscribe to Chip Design Journal: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts newslettersWeekly Newsletters
Get Chip Design Journal: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Chip Design Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Trevor Bradley, David Strom

Related Topics: Virtualization Magazine, Chip Design, AMD Virtualization Journal

Article

AMD Pushes Out Six-Core Chip

It’s eight months behind Intel’s six-core Dunnington Xeon

MD has a 45nm six-core chip now just like Intel that will appear in HP, Cray, Dell, SGI, IBM and Sun systems this month. How the Istanbul chip and its adopters fare in a lousy make-do market remains to be seen.

AMD pushed the doohickey out Monday five months early in an effort to compete with the next Intel generation, the hyper-threaded quad-core Nehalem.

HE, SE and EE versions of the thing won’t be shipping until next quarter.

It’s eight months behind Intel’s six-core Dunnington Xeon, a hot little pre-Nehalem Penryn-style chip and the last Intel part with a front-side bus.

AMD says its new Istanbul chip offers 34% better performance-per-watt over Opteron’s previous quad-core Shanghai. Unlike Intel’s six-core, the part fits into the Shanghai platform so it takes little effort to incorporate and can pass for a value play.

It also uses DDR-2 memory rather than DDR-3, which makes it cheaper.

Istanbul is meant for two-, four- and eight-socket servers; that’s a possible 48 cores in a single chassis; Dunnington doesn’t accommodate two sockets and Nehalem is still limited to one and two sockets, which is why Intel trumpeted the eight-core Nehalem-EX last week.

Although the EX will support two, four and eight sockets it won’t be out until early next year when AMD expects to have its eight- to 12-core Magny-Cours chip ready.

The Six Core Opteron includes a bit of technology called HT Assist that uses part of the L3 cache like a look-up table so it can find data without asking each processor where it is, reducing processor-to-processor latency. It carries 6MB of L3 cache and 512KB of L2 cache per core.

AMD will be making the Istanbul at its spun-out fabs. It’ll come in speeds of 2.2GHz-2.6GHz and draw 75W on average. It runs from $455 to $2,649.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.