AMD's Opteron X-Series Processors to Challenge Atom in Microserver Market

Paul Lilly

AMD makes a run at Atom.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) this week announced a new family of low power server processors optimized for scale-out server architectures. The Sunnyvale chip designer also attached a couple of interesting claims to its new Opteron X Series, formerly known as "Kyoto," the first of which is that these are the highest density, most power-efficient small core x86 processors ever built. The other claim has to do with how they compare to Intel's top Atom chip.

Compared to Intel's Atom S1260 processor, AMD says its new X1150 and X2150 processors trump Santa Clara's part in key performance benchmarks, including single-thread and throughput performance by way of more cores, more L2 cache, a more advanced pipeline architecture, higher integration, and support for up to 32GB of DRAM, which is four times more than Atom supports.

"The data center is at an inflection point and requires a high number of cores in a dense form factor with integrated graphics, massive amounts of DRAM and unprecedented power efficiency to keep up with the pace of innovation of Internet services," said Andrew Feldman , corporate vice president and general manager, Server Business Unit at AMD. "AMD has a proud history of server innovation, and the AMD Opteron X-Series processors challenge the status quo by providing unmatched capabilities to drive the most energy-efficient servers in the industry."

AMD's new Opteron X chips consist of four Jaguar 64-bit x86 cores. The X1150 is strictly a CPU clocked at 2GHz, whereas the X2150 is an APU clocked at 1.9GHz with 128 Radeon HD 8000 cores. Both parts boast 2MP of L2 cache, the former rated at 9-17W TDP and the latter at 11-22W TDP.

The X1150 costs $64 and the X2150 runs $99, both prices representative of 1,000 unit tray quantities.

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