AMD launches Opteron processors for virtualisation and cloud computing

The chip vendor claims it has released the world's first 16 core x86 CPU which will increase scalability for virtualisation.

Chip vendor, AMD, has released its Opteron 6200 and 4200 series catered to enterprise virtualisation and cloud computing.

Previously code-named Interlagos and Valencia respectively, the processors, according to AMD, can give businesses up to 84 per cent higher performance.

The figure was in reference to AMD Opteron 6276 generating 84 per cent more floating-point operations (FLOPs) than the Intel X5670 processor.

AMD also boasted increased scalability for virtualisation with the new processors.

The Opteron 6200 series can support up to 16 cores to handle more virtual machines while the 4200 series can go up to eight cores.

AMD is claiming to have released the first 16 core x86 CPU. The processors have a higher memory bandwidth as well.

“The move to virtualisation and cloud is becoming more important,” AMD country manager, Brian Slatter, said at the Opteron launch event in Sydney. “Things people are looking for when building out their cloud infrastructure – when they’re focusing on how to develop their datacentres moving forward – is definitely flexibility, scalability and agility.”

By fitting more cores into the CPUs, servers can come down in size which saves on precious datacentre floor rooms, according to Slattery.

Power has also become a big concern for datacentre operators as costs of power increase with time.

With this in mind, AMD has put in a number of power-related technologies, such as turbo core which allow CPUs to balance out voltage needed to run workloads, to help with energy efficiency.

“We all have limitations in the datacentre side with power coming through the wall, cooling solutions and so on,” Slattery said. “If you don’t have the technology to support that growth you can’t be as agile as you want to be.”

AMD also announced a timeframe for the release of its Opteron 3000 series platform which is aimed at the “ultra-dense, ultra-low power 1P web hosting/web serving and microserver markets”, according to the vendor.

The first Opteron 3000 series processor will be 4-8 core CPU code-named Zurich and is due to be launched in the first half of 2012.

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