Today AMD did a demonstration of the world’s first Native Quad-Core X86 Processor, (codenamed Barcelona), at the annual Industry Analyst Forum in California. The demonstration was done on a four processor server platform running Windows 2003 Server 64 bit. The demonstration also showed the ease of upgrading the server simply by replacing the four DDR2-based Opteron processors with the new Quad-Core AMD Opteron’s and updating the BIOS.
Randy Allen, the corporate vice president for AMD in the Server and Workstation Division stated “AMD is guided by an overarching strategy to reduce datacenter complexity and to deliver performance increases without forcing customers to endure disruptive platform transitions,”. Allen added, “We discussed quad-core requirements with our customers and their end users, and determined that, as we did with the introduction of dual-core x86 processors in 2005, only a native quad-core x86 server processor would excel in the broad set of dimensions that matter to our customers. With the introduction of native quad-core x86 processors in the second quarter of 2007, AMD plans to again deliver exceptional technology based on the same customer-centric design principles that steered the development of our award-winning AMD dual-core server, workstation, desktop and mobile processors.”
You can actually watch Randy Allen talk about the new Quad-Core AMD Opteron and view a demonstration at the AMD Virtual Experience hall. This site has quite a bit of interactive information about AMD and the new Quad-Core chip, as well as the chance to get a free T-Shirt for the first 3,000 registrants.
The new AMD processor is coming on the heals of Intel’s Quad-Core processor released only months ago. The intention for this early demonstration is obviously to show off the technology, but also could be to show existing and potential AMD customers that they have something in the wings that will not only catch up, but will move ahead of Intel’s current technology in their Quad-Core chip. AMD’s plan appears to be an attempt to jump ahead of Intel, which makes sense in order to avoid being caught in a cycle of always being a step behind them.
The difference in the AMD Quad-Core chip compared to Intel’s version is that it packs four cores onto a single die instead of putting two dual core dice on a single package as Intel does. According to John Fruehe, a business development manager for AMD, the new processor will exceed the 60% performance increase that Intel’s Quad-Core chip showed from it’s dual core, but he would not say by how much.
AMD plans on making these processors available in mid-2007 for two- to eight-socket servers and workstations.
Press Release [AMD]