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AMD Unveils Lower Power Server Chip

August 31, 2009

In an attempt to expand business to Web hosting companies, Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) shipped a lower-power version of its Opteron server chip on Monday, Reuters reported.

While AMD did not offer any revenue projections for the new chip, it said it would be aimed at companies that use servers for tasks like cloud computing.

The company also added it was looking to cut power and costs related to things like air conditioning.

AMD senior manager Brent Kerby told Reuters they are seeing low power becoming prioritized within the IT Manager’s buying criteria.

“This is reflected in our processor shipments as our low power processors mix is increasing. Our new lowest power processors … (are) our fastest growing product,” he wrote in an email.

The new AMD chip is part of the company’s six-core Opteron family of processors. Intel Corp, which currently dominates about 90 percent of the market for server chips, has low-power chips with only four cores. A higher number of cores allow a chip to perform more tasks at once.

However, Intel stated its plan to launch an eight-core Nehalem chip early next year.

Real World Technologies analyst David Kanter said he doesn’t think that will fundamentally change AMD’s competitive position, but it does give AMD a more complete portfolio and it makes their lower power offerings more attractive.

Mercury Research analyst Dean McCarron noted that the server market was about 30 percent behind where it was a year ago, due to the economic crisis.

“That gap will narrow in the second half and will rally to 7 percent to 8 percent growth in 2010, compared with overall PC growth of about 10 percent,” McCarron forecasted.

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