The competition between Advanced Micro Devices and Intel in the server chip market was ratcheted up this week as each company released two processors. AMD introduced two models in its Opteron line, and Intel expanded its Itanium 2 family by two.
Targeting server vendors looking to build blade systems that consume less power and emit less heat, Intel introduced the Low Voltage Intel Itanium 2 processor, formerly known as Deerfield. Running 1.0GHz with 1.5MB of L3 cache, the chip is ideal for servers found in the datacentre said Intel spokesman Scott McLaughlin.
The other chip Intel has put to market runs at 1.4GHz and is positioned for use with dual-processor servers in which clock speed is more important than cache.
AMD, meanwhile, introduced model 846, designed for four- and eight-way servers, and model 146, a chip built for workstations.
Margaret Lewis, software strategy manager of AMD's server and workstation marketing division, explained that the 846, which runs at 2.0GHz, allows for different kinds of multiprocessor platforms. The memory and controller are integrated in the 846, so with HyperTransport technology, AMD's design permits a chip in a multiprocessor server to reach over to the memory of other processors. This, Lewis explains, makes the surrounding chipset less expensive.
Lewis added that an AMD 846 four-processor server is only a bit costlier than a two-way server, so the market may move toward four-way servers.