AMD has introduced a new line of Opteron processors intended to power low-cost servers for cloud computing host providers, claiming it will cost as little as $25 per CPU core.
The firm also lifted the lid on some of its post-acquisition plans for micro-server company SeaMicro, which include opening up its interconnect fabric technology to AMD system builder partners.
Available immediately, the Opteron 3200 series is based on the same Bulldozer CPU core technology as AMD's Opteron 4200 and 6200 chips launched last year, but is designed for single-socket systems with versions featuring four or eight cores.
The chief market for the new chips is the service providers operating hosted servers for their customers, according to AMD's marketing director for enterprise products, John Fruehe.
For this type of customer price is crucial, he explained, because they face a very large up front capital outlay to put in place the necessary hardware infrastructure to serve their customers.
Often, they have to rely on desktop-class hardware to keep costs down, but what they really need is more affordable servers, and this is where the Opteron 3200 comes in, Fruehe claimed.
"This 3200 series is going to be the first product to deliver desktop-class economics with server-class reliability," he added.
In this respect, the new Opteron is somewhat similar to Intel's Xeon E3-1200 chips, launched last year. However, with the first chips priced between $99 and $229, AMD claims it can offer a lower-cost product with twice the number of processor cores.
The new Opteron chips are also power efficient, with a thermal design power (TDP) of 45W to 65W, and they can be configured with up to 32GB of unbuffered DDR3 DIMMs.
Three models are available initially, with the entry-level 3250 providing four cores at 2.5GHz. The 3260 is a step up in performance at 2.7GHz, while the 3280 is clocked at 2.4GHz but boasts eight cores for higher throughput.
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