AMD intros Opteron 4000 series for the cloud

AMD is making a bid to capture the data centre and cloud market with a series of low cost processors that also, it claimed, are highly power efficient.

Gina Longoria, director of product management for AMD’s server business, said the Opteron 4000 is designed specifically for cloud and data centre customers – and for SMBs, because AMD claims it offers exceptional value. It claims it’s the world’s lowest power per core server processor.

The Opteron 6000 was launched in March but that’s targeted at performance per watt and expansion for 2P/4P.   But the Opteron 4000 is aimed at energy efficiency, designed for customised machines by OEMs. A number of OEM customers will introduce power efficient machines.

Customers need high density and to fit a lot of servers into a small space, said Longoria. OEMs will design units that meet the need of people without a lot of space. The 4000 uses DDR3 and will be upgradeable to Bulldozer cores in 2011.

AMD claims this series is the first “true cloud server platform”.  These Lisbon chips have six or four core options, 3MB or 2MB of L2 cache, 6MB of L3 cache, IO Virtualisation, Hypertransport 3.0, with  two X16 links of up to 6.4GT/s per link.

The chips have an integrated DDR3 memory controller with 1333MHz  support and up to 21.3GB/s memory bandwidth – power bands are 32W, 50W and 75W.

The chips have four power states – a sleep state, a reduced state when  a temperature limit is reached, remote monitoring, and lower memory voltages of 1.35V compared to the standard 1.5V.

AMD makes some ambitious claims for how much data centres with 10,000 servers can save – with up to 8.7kWH per year, and an estimated  $992,000 yearly savings.

The 4100 series, claims AMD, covers all the bases for low power including chips, chipsets, and memory, as well as software.

The chip can offer a 2P server system below $100. AMD claims that its entry level prices, compared to the Xeon 5600 is half the price, or more.

Dell, GatewayAcer, Tyan, MSI, Gigabyte and Supermicro will produce products in the next month or two. The Lisbon four and six cores that are in the 400 series, and codenamed San Marino and Adelaide, will be displaced by Valencia six and eight core systems next year.