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AMD Releases New Opterons as CIO and Corporate VP Leave the Company

16-core AMD Opteron Codenamed "Interlagos", Succeeded by "Abu Dhabi"

Without much fanfare (or pre-release product briefings), AMD has released its new Opteron processors previously known as "Abu Dhabi". At the same time, two executives added to the exodus by leaving the company.

As a company under pressure, we are used to getting a mix of good and bad news from AMD. Today was marked with the official release of AMD Opteron 6300 Series, and confirmed departure of two senior executives.

For starters, the company unveiled Opteron 6300 Series, formerly known under the codename "Abu Dhabi". The Abu Dhabi processors are intended to replace former high-end processors codenamed "Interlagos" (AMD names all of their high-end server processors for Formula One race tracks, while the platforms themselves are typically codenamed for Ferrari locations – Maranello, San Marino, Fiorano etc.). In recent years, AMD started to rename these platforms with different names but in essence, we're talking about platforms which the company introduced back in 2010 with 12-core "Magny Cours"  processors.

Just like its predecessors, Abu Dhabi is an MCM (Multi-Chip Module), packing two Piledriver dies on the same substrate, paired with 1944-contact Socket (unlike its desktop processors, AMD server parts use Land Grid Array e.g. LGA concept, just like Intel Core and Xeon processors). Just as expected, the Abu Dhabi processor uses Piledriver processor cores and they will have to do all the way until 2014, when AMD is expected to debut its first products based on the "Steamroller" core.

Perhaps the key part of the lineup is the updated support for higher speed memory, with Registered ECC DDR3-1866 being touted as a performance deliverer – after all, the theoretical bandwidth rose from 51.2 GB/s on Interlagos to 59.7 GB/s on Abu Dhabi. The company claims significant power savings coming from the use of Low-Power DDR3L memory at just 1.25V, compared to 1.35V most of its competitors use. In terms of processor TDP, Opteron 6300 Series now comes clocked all the way to 3.5GHz (3.8GHz with Turbo Core being switched on). This is a significant improvement over the 16-core Interlagos (Opteron 6200 Series) processors, since the highest clock on offer was on 140 Watt 6284 SE processor – 2.7GHz clock with 3.4GHz Turbo Core technology. Thus, Piledriver cores offer 800MHz boost over Bulldozer ones, which indeed represent no small feat.

Each CPU supports up to 12 DIMMs, which means you can put up to 384GB DDR3 memory. Naturally, in case of using three DIMMs per channel, you cannot expect DDR3-1866. Rather, DDR3-1333 is supported, while DDR3-1600 depends on a module.

Unfortunately, we were not able to find prices for individual parts, as the page above leads to a dead end for all the models in question, as you can see on the screenshot below:

The availability of the parts is immediate, with next week's SC'12 Conference in Salt Lake City, UT revealing more design wins, including what processors powered Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. By combining latest 16-core Opterons with Tesla K20 boards, we saw leaked results of massive 27 PFLOPS of compute power, meaning AMD Opteron powers the most powerful supercomputer on the market. The bad news is that over two thirds of compute power for that result comes from Tesla GPGPU boards, rather than AMD Opterons (or its own FirePro S Series GPGPU boards).

The day of introducing the Opteron 6300, targeting Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers was marked by departure of AMD's own CIO, Mike Wolfe. We received information that both Mike Wolfe and Trevor Schulze decided to leave the company. Mike served as the company's CIO since last year (he joined as a part of Thomas Seifert's interim executive team in March 2011), while Trevor served as Corporate Vice President in charge of R&D and Global Infrastructure Services since 2008, when he arrived at AMD from Cisco.

AMD already named Mike's replacement, Jake Dominguez. He will serve both as an Interim CIO and Vice President for Corporate Services.

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