Wednesday, September 10th 2008

Opteron to get Homegrown Chipsets in 2009

The chipset division of AMD really is reminiscent of former ATI Technologies that jumped into the business of making chipsets looking at rival NVIDIA's success with nForce series. After being acquired by AMD, the chipset division started making chipsets under the AMD banner. AMD has had a good amount of success with its recent 7-series chipsets for the desktop platform. It has managed to snatch a 20% market share away from NVIDIA which even today leads in market share for platform core-logic technologies for AMD. Not only have they had a desktop line of nForce products but also an equally popular enterprise chipset for the Opteron platform in the form of nForce Professional series server and workstation core-logic.

Opteron still holds a respectable position in the enterprise CPU market thanks to its supposedly more efficient virtualization capabilities. As of now, NVIDIA and Broadcom make chipsets for it. With current chipsets however, the K10 technology hits a roadblock when it comes to system bus bandwidth. Socket 1207 boards that came out before Barcelona that supported the dual-core Santa Rosa processors while promising Barcelona support had chipsets that lacked HyperTransport 3.0 support. The result was that multi-socket Barcelona boards were severely crippled as far as system bus went. Barcelona didn't support HyperTransport 3.0 itself either. In multi-socket boards, 2000 MT/s is all the bandwidth two Barcelona chips had to make do with. AMD assures to set this right with the upcoming Shanghai Opteron quad-core chips where the processors feature improved 5200 MT/s HyperTransport 3.0 interfaces. It then boils down to chipsets supporting it. News is that NVIDIA will be working on such a chipset that provides such bandwidth to individual sockets and their peer-to-peer communication that helps improve virtualization. Within 2009, AMD will be out with a enterprise-grade chipset made by its chipset division.

AMD will introduce the SR5690 and SP5100 northbridge chips. These would be aided by SS7100 southbridge chips. These chipsets offer the features AMD's enterprise platforms have been begging for, such as full-speed HyperTransport 3.0 system interface at 5200 MT/s, PCI-Express 2.0 with hotplug capabilities, and an I/O Memory Management Unit (IOMMU). This part is said to provide significant boosts to virtualization efficiencies by providing better peer-to-peer communication between sockets and direct communication between CPUs and devices. Additionally, the IOMMU is said to enhance security by preventing unauthorized memory access by devices. The SP5100 however is said to lack the IOMMU.

In other news, these chipsets come out around the same time when AMD introduces its 6-core Opteron processor codenamed Istanbul.
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9 Comments on Opteron to get Homegrown Chipsets in 2009

#1
A Cheese Danish
A 6-core opty? that sounds like it'll awesome! And it appears in 2010 they will introducing a 12-core? That's impressive! I can't wait!
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#2
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
very cool now hurry up and release them AMD
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#3
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
This is very sweet. 6 core opties and decent oc potential (I hope) ::drool::
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#4
jbunch07
Wow that is impressive. I cant imagine how a 12 core cpu would perform, given the programs actually utilize all 12 cores.
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#5
Cold Storm
Battosai
And, they say that AMD is going under... This can spark some stuff up!
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#6
a111087
1H 2010!!! not bad, hope they will not delay!
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#7
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
by: cdawall
very cool now hurry up and release them AMD
yes!! buy all means! hurry - but DONT rush like you did with the whole AM2 platform (then you got slaughterd by Intel C2D)
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#8
Hayder_Master
6 core from amd mean it is real 6 core , very cool
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#9
candle_86
the opterons are still strong for the servers, and alot cheaper than the xeons.

This is good news as for the core, servers arnt designed usally to handle one work load, take a gamer server, it runs a game, HTML for the clans site, and Teamspeak or vent, thats 3 programs right there, and then usally other apps also going, so it add's up, thats why multi core is so good.
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