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AMD Opteron Processor Overview

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Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD
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The World Welcomes the Opteron

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

"For AMD, the future is Hammer."


Jerry Sanders, the current CEO and the founder of AMD spoke those words, many times in the past months. And indeed AMD is moving forward with this knowledge well imbedded into its collective head. The events of today are showing AMD’s commitment to their work, as well as the commitment that the rest of the industry is going to be able to give AMD.


As you might guess from the title, the new brand name for the new family of multi-way enterprise-class processors is Opteron. This processor is based on the 8th generation of processor core technology from AMD and brings forth the world’s very first x86-64 CPU. The architecture, which will be explained briefly later on, offers us the standard 32-bit instructions as well as a new 64-bit set of extensions. The processor also has other features such as an integrated memory controller and it’s the first processor to use AMD’s developed HyperTransport Technology.


AMD is fully expecting the Opteron processor to deliver a high-performance server and workstation solution to the enterprise-market of today and to offer those same people a promise of protection and compatibility beyond any other processor to date. It will allow servers and workstations to seamlessly migrate from 32-bit applications to 64-bit applications.






The main competitors of the new AMD Opteron processor include the Intel Xeon and Xeon MP processors, as well as Intel’s own 64-bit chip, the Itanium. AMD plans to continue to offer the best available in terms of 32-bit performance as well as the best option for those wanting to use 64-bit applications in the server and workstation fields.


All of this comes with a caveat: you cannot expect to see actual chips delivered until the first half of 2003.


Quickly, just as there were questions when AMD announced the Athlon 4 and Athlon XP processors, many of you will want to know how and why AMD chose the name Opteron for their SledgeHammer processors. Opteron is from the Latin term "optimus" meaning best, in the lead, in front, on top, the most. The name suggests a strength and potency as well as energy and intelligence. From AMD: Opteron is the optimal x86 processor and gives you the option to run 32-bit or 64-bit apps.


Yes, it reminds me a little of the Transformers as well. :) But, beyond the name, the Opteron has a lot to offer us.

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