AMD Ships 'Istanbul' Six-Core Opteron Server CPU

We aren't quite calling this the turnaround of the decade just yet, but with just six months to go until 2010, AMD is doing its best to make a late run for said crown. In years past, Advanced Micro Devices had become notorious for delaying products. Now, they're doing their best to right the ship by unveiling a product's availability some five months ahead of schedule. In CPU years, five months is an eternity.

The new six-core AMD Opteron (codenamed "Istanbul") is shipping out to OEM customers today, and the chip should be available to consumers by the end of this month. Hailed as the world’s first six-core server processor with Direct Connect Architecture for two-, four- and eight-socket servers, this chip has up to 34 percent more performance-per-watt over the previous generation quad-core processors in the exact same platform. Over the next few weeks, systems will begin to creep out from Cray, Dell, HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems, and support from motherboard and infrastructure partners will follow suit. Also of note, HE, SE and EE versions of the six-core AMD Opteron processor are planned for the second half of 2009.





For those concerned about upgrade costs, chew on this: six-core AMD Opteron processors leverage existing platform infrastructure and a low-cost, power-efficient DDR2 memory architecture. Nice going, AMD -- let's hope this is the start of an all new way of doing business.