Electronic Design

Revamped CPU Family Delivers Topnotch Throughput

A spate of recent CPU releases from Advanced Micro Devices offers designers higher-performance options for servers, workstations, and portable systems.

The Opteron model 248 HE from AMD keeps the power drain to just 55 W while running at 2.2 GHz. It's a good match for single-CPU systems like blade severs, network appliances, storage servers, and other high-performance systems that have a limited power budget. In 1000-unit lots, the CPU costs $851 each.

A slightly slower version, the Model 246 HE, clocks at 2.0 GHz. But it saves almost 50% of the budget, running $455 each in similar quantities. For lower-power applications, the Model 240 HE trims the operating power to less than 30 W, while scaling the operating speed to a maximum of 1.4 GHz. It will cost $455 each in 1000-unit lots as well.

Also expected soon are the models 848 HE, 846 HE, and 840 HE. AMD expects them to find use in four-processor servers and other multiprocessor systems. The 2.2-GHz version is $1514, the 2.0-GHz version is $873, and the 1.4-GHz version is $873 (power reduced to below 30 W).

For workstation applications, the company plans to release some updated 100 series CPUs in June. Like the other families, there will be three speed/cost options. The Model 148 HE runs at 2.2 GHz and costs $637. The 146 HE runs at 2.0 GHz and costs $278. And, the 140 HE runs at 1.4 GHz and costs $278 (power reduced to less than 30 W).

Each CPU incorporates AMD's PowerNow! technology. Its optimized power management provides dynamic power-on-demand capabilities to minimize power consumption. Thanks to the lower power consumption of the HE-series devices, AMD envisions a significant number of applications in the embedded market segment in addition to the expected workstation and server markets.

For mobile applications, AMD has unveiled its Turion 64 mobile technology. This development can be found in a new family of CPUs— models ML-37, 34, 32, and 30 and MT-34, 32, and 30. All these chips are immediately available. Prices range from $354 for the ML-37 to $184 for the ML-30.

The Turion CPUs pack a 64-bit processor core with improved branch prediction and an enhanced translation look-aside buffer for better memory management. Also on-chip are 64-kbyte L1 instruction and data caches and 1 Mbyte or 512 kbytes of L2 cache.

All of the Turion chips incorporate a new "C3" deep-sleep state to reduce standby power as well as the PowerNow! dynamic power-management technology. The chips also include an integrated double-data-rate memory controller and the company's HyperTransport interfaces for high-speed I/O data transfers.

Check out the May 26 Digital Techview on AMD's and Intel's dual-core CPUs.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

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TAGS: Intel
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