AMD Launches 'Istanbul' Processor

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AMD today launched its six-core Istanbul processor, touting its energy efficiency and versatility. For data center operators using AMD servers, the good news is that the six-core Istanbul offers a 34 percent performance boost with the same power usage as AMD’s quad-core Opteron chips.

“With every generation, we get more performance out of the same thermal envelope,” said Leslie Sobon, VP for product marketing at AMD. “That’s a key criteria for us.”

“What we heard from our customers was that they want increased performance per watt and more power efficiency,” added Dirk Meyer, President and CEO of AMD. “We actually exceeded all of our internal expectations. (Istanbul’s) performance per watt is stunning.”

Here’s a closer look at the eneergy management features in the Istanbul processors:

  • Enhanced AMD PowerNow Technology allows each core to vary its frequency based on the specific needs of the application, allowing more precise power management to reduce data center energy consumption.
  • Dual Dynamic Power Managementallows can reduce idle power consumption and allow for per-processor power management in multi-socket systems to decrease power consumption.
  • AMD CoolCore Technology evaluates which parts of the die – the cores, the memory, or both – are needed to support currently running applications. It can cut power to unused transistor areas to reduce power consumption and lower heat generation.
  • AMD PowerCap Manager provides IT managers the ability to put a cap on the P-state level of the cores via the BIOS, reducing a system’s processor power consumption.
  • AMD Smart Fetch Technology enables inactive cores to write contents of their L1 and L2 caches to the shared L3 cache. This can allow the inactive cores to enter a “halt” state and draw less power, reducing CPU power consumption.

As is customary, the AMD launch was accompanied by partner testimonials and product rollouts, featuring HP, Dell, Cray, Sun, IBM, ZT Systems and, Verari Systems.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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