AMD launches six-core ‘Istanbul’

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the second largest producer of global dedicated server processors, needed to come up with an answer to Intel’s Core i7 processor, and it had to be on schedule. Back in 2006, AMD’s market share peaked at about 25%, and it was Intel that was scrambling to maintain its dominance in the industry. Fast forward 3 years, AMD misses the launch date of the Intel-killer Barcelona processor and misses the 2.5GHz target for reclaiming the processor performance crown, and suddenly market share has slipped to 10.7%.

The Instanbul Opterons are a decent response to the Nehalem chipset released earlier this year. They don’t quite match the overall performance of the Xeon W5550 or Xeon W5580, but are still a clear improvement over the Shanghai. With improvements targeting higher peak performance, energy efficiency, and improved design for virtualization, database, and other high-performance workloads, choosing or upgrading to an Istanbul processor is probably a cost-effective solution for those already using Socket F servers, and having been released 5 months early, may help AMD re-capture some of the market that has been lost in recent years.

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