Opteron Turns 6: Plus Istanbul and a New Road-mapApril 22, 2009
AMD released an updated technology road-map for it’s Opteron processor family, beginning with the early availability of Istanbul – its Socket-F compatible 6-core processor – shipping for revenue in May and available from OEM’s in June. This information was delivered in a webcast today.
“…up to 30 percent more performance within the same power envelope and on the same platform as current Quad-Core AMD Opteron…”
Additionally, AMD updated the availability of its Direct Connect Architecture 2.0 to be available only in the Opteron 4000 and 6000 series (socket C32 and G34, respectively). Companies waiting for the 12-core “Magny-Cours” processor will have to switch to the G34 platform in 2010. AMD announced that it is already shipping this 45nm part to sampling partners, and some customers will receive parts in 2H/2009. Magny-Cours is expected to be available from OEM’s and system vendors in 1H/2010.
“Opteron 4000 series is also planned for introduction in 2010 for 1P and 2P servers and designed to address virtualized Web and cloud computing environments. The 4000 series will launch with 4- and 6-core processors…”
AMD believes, with core counts on the rise, dense computing (HPC and data center virtualization or cloud) will rely on the 4000 series and its more “green friendly” low power parts called “EE” offering comparable performance at 40W average power. This will create a differential in the server space between 4000 and 6000 (much like 2000 and 8000 today) but with overlap in the 2P market (unlike 2000/8000). The 6000 series is envisioned as a “high performance computing” part where power sensitivity is not the major concern.
AMD provides a compelling path for virtualization-oriented businesses in 2009 and further demonstrates the value of the socket-F platform as being on-par with Nehalem-EP and able to “keep up” until Direct Connect Architecture 2.0 forces a socket change. Does Istanbul present a compelling argument to the enterprise to purchase new systems instead of waiting for C32/G34 to arrive?
“…up to 12 cores initially, with superior memory and I/O capability, near native virtualization performance, and a range of full-featured power bands that continue to place a priority on low power consumption…”
Considering that AMD has proven that it can add performance and remain compatible – demonstrating multi-generational virtualization migration today – with its earlier parts, an investment in Shanghai or Istanbul today would not prove to be a “money wasted” option. Considering the ROI proposition of our previous blog – if your enterprise has 2P/1-core systems that can be virtualized, your 2-4-month ROI leaves 4-8 months of revenue recapture before C32/G34 availability.
Of course, Shanghai is available today, and Istanbul is a drop-in replacement in June. With Shanghai processors readily available in the $170-200/processor (2300-series) range, an early conversion from FSB/Xeon to Shanghai will pay for itself in 2-4 months. In virtualization environments, EVC will provide investment protection when socket-C32 and -G34 systems come out in 2010.
This generation’s Opteron platform has proven to last 4-years and will continue to earn dividends throughout 2010. Next year’s new platform will likely carry your data center investment through 2013 and beyond. Happy birthday Opteron! May your next 6 years be even brighter!