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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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.