AMD Launches First 16-core Opteron Server Chips

AMD has finally debuted its much-awaited 16-core Opteron server processors after a few weeks delay; the new Opteron 6200 chips pack 25 per cent more cores and perform between 25 per cent and 30 per cent faster than the 12-core Opteron 6100 CPUs.

HP, Dell, Cray and Acer have already confirmed that they will sell servers based on the chip. Five models will be available, ranging from 1.6GHz to 2.6GHz with prices ranging from $523 to $1019. Surprisingly, the chip consumes between a very low 85W and a decent 140W (between five and eight Watts per core).

More importantly perhaps, the new Interlagos chips are socket-compatible with 12-core processors. The large number of cores means that they should be great for applications that excel on parallel, multi-threaded environments, including databases, cloud and high performance computing.

The chip has already been chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to build a new super computer called Titan, which will combine thousands of processors with scores of Nvidia GPUs to deliver 20 petaflops of peak performance and become the world's fastest computer ever.

AMD also added Turbo Core technology to Interlagos, which allows clock speeds to ramp up by 500MHz across all 16 cores, or up to 1GHz on a number of cores, depending on the task.