The Opteron server processor should gain a foothold in Australian IT by building on the sizeable base of Athlon MP chips sold in Australia last year, according to Advanced Micro Devices officials at the Opteron launch in Sydney.
While Opteron is AMD’s first 64-bit offering, the "several thousands" of Athlon MP chips (used for servers and workstations) sold in Australia last year means AMD has an established Australian server base, AMD manager for Australia and New Zealand, John Robinson, said.
"This isn’t a slight on IDC, but this [use of Athlon MP chips] information isn’t caught by IDC," he said. "The MP has done well in Australia; it’s one of the best markets.
"Distributors and resellers are a big market for us. But there’s no data on where those [MP] chips are going or how they’re being used. They must be being used for servers."
About 50,000 servers were sold each year in Australia, Robinson said, but he refused to define what targets AMD had for Opteron locally.
Microsoft Australia’s Windows servers product manager, Michael Leworthy, on hand to promote Microsoft’s support for Opteron, echoed Robinson’s comments.
He said the market share for 64-bit computing locally was high.
Officials said AMD’s new chip was also aimed at environment modelling, financial transactions, security, digital media and voice recognition applications users. Yet, despite AMD management’s claims that the Opteron was the "future of computing", few assemblers were on hand at the Sydney launch to showcase the chip.
Several AMD speakers also acknowledged the tough business climate. AMD vice-president for the South Asia-Pacific region, Joe Krystofik, said Opteron’s ability to work with 32-bit applications was "investment protection."
Manager of AMD’s server market development, Mark Tellez, while conceding some Intel chips outperformed the Opteron in new benchmark tests, said the Opteron offered better "price performance".