Confirming that Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors, code-named Barcelona, are planned for shipment in both standard and low power versions at launch in August, AMD explained why it thinks they will be a success.
The key emphasis was on power efficiency, with AMD insisting its quad core server processors compare favourably with the Intel equivalent. For this reason the launch is focusing on ‘mainstream’, as opposed to high-end users.
The Opterons will have a relatively low clock speed of around 2 GHz, but as Felipe Payet, worldwide channel market development manager of the AMD server/workstation product group, reminded journalists, clock speed is not the sole measurement of processor performance.
To emphasise this, Payet stressed that Barcelona is "not just two more cores", but the the product of a number of CPU innovations. These include improved power efficiency and virtualisation capabilities. Steven Demski, AMD Opteron product manager, stressed that these new features will make Barcelona "very competitive with Intel."
Barcelona machines are expected to begin appearing in September and it was confirmed that Phenom – the codename for AMD’s desktop quad-core product – is still expected before the end of the year.