AMD's Shanghai Quad Core CPUs Finally Save The Company?

Semiconductor Firm AMD will release a much-expected 45nm update to its quad-core Opteron processors which will should bring down power dissipation, improve efficiency and most importantly, allows the company to ramp up clock speed.

The introduction of the new iteration will make it easier for cash-strapped company to upgrade their servers simply by dumping their old processors and fitting in new ones; Shanghai-based Opterons dissipate less heat and use the same socket F 1207-pin platform.

Tests performed by a number of hardware websites have shown that AMD has closed the gap between itself and Intel and the new Shanghai fares much better than the old Barcelona core, beating it by more than 10 percent in most benchmarks.

AMD however still holds the leadership when it comes to overall power consumption though that could change in the next few months as Intel refreshes its platform.

Shanghai will be AMD's Server flagship for the next year and will be followed by Istanbul, a six-core product. Whether this will be enough to counteract the mounting threat of Intel's Xeon family is altogether unsure as the biggest CPU maker moves to 32nm manufacturing process, ramps up speed and moves to eight-core Beckton/Nehalem-EX processors by H2 2009.

The next few months will be a significant make-and-break period for AMD and will see the introduction of desktop 45nm quad core chips under the codenamed Deneb, more details about the future Bulldozer architecture and, lest not forget, AMD's own Bobcat platform to prevent Intel's Atom from taking over the Netbook segment.

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