AMD low-power chips headed for HP, Dell servers

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices releases low-power processors that are set to find their way into servers from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sun Microsystems, and Rackable Systems.

Updated on January 26 at 9:50 a.m. PST with additional information about ACP and TDP thermal-envelope ratings.

Advanced Micro Devices on Monday released low-power and high-performance processors that will find their way into servers from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sun Microsystems, and Rackable Systems.

The new server processors are updated versions of AMD's 45-nanometer Shanghai processor.

"When we first came to market, we brought out the standard-power (Shanghai processors) because that's where the bulk of our market is," John Fruehe, the director of business development for server and workstation products at AMD, said in an interview. "As always, we follow(ed) up fairly quickly with the HE, which are the energy-efficient models, and the SE, which are the high-performance models."

Pricing for AMD "Shanghai" HE and SE quad-core processors
Pricing for AMD "Shanghai" HE and SE quad-core processors AMD

The five new low-power 45-nanometer quad-core AMD Opteron HE processors operate at 55-watt ACP, or Average CPU Power (PDF). This standard differs from Intel's Thermal Design Power, or TDP, rating.

"TDP is much more conservative," Fruehe said. "The TDP on those (HE) processors is 79 watts," he said. But the "average customer is going to see them running in the mid-40s (ACP) range," Fruehe added.

AMD's HE processor 55-watt ACP is very close to Intel's Xeon quad-core E5430 processor, for example, which has a TDP of 80 watts.

Low-power HE processors, with speeds ranging from 2.1GHz to 2.3GHz, are designed to address a segment of the server market--such as massive data centers--"that must maximize performance during peak hours while managing the energy costs during idle and low-utilization hours," AMD said.

High-performance SE processors, which run at 2.8GHz, are targeted at customers with "the most performance-intensive data center workloads," AMD said.

At the 105-watt ACP thermal envelope, these new processors are immediately available in three new systems from HP, as well as from other technology partners, AMD said.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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