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"Istanbul" World's 1st Six-Core Opteron Processors

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Old 02-06-2009
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"Istanbul" World's 1st Six-Core Opteron Processors
  

"Istanbul", no we are not talking about the place that is on the world map. We are talking about the world’s first six-core server processor with Direct Connect Architecture for two-, four- and eight-socket servers that has been released by the AMD. By and large, Istanbul is essentially a quad-core "Shanghai" processor with two additional cores added to the die. Istanbul is compatible with the existing Socket F infrastructure, so it's an easy drop-in upgrade for existing servers. So long as your Socket F motherboard supports dual power planes, all that's required for an Istanbul upgrade is a quick BIOS flash and a chip swap.


Six-Core AMD Opteron processors “Istanbul” extend AMD’s commitment to offering server customers superior value at every price point with unmatched platform flexibility.Across a single platform, AMD can address the need for more cores and greater scalability with the new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor and offer a cost- and power-efficient solution with Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors.Patrick Patla, vice president and general manager, Server and Workstation Business, AMD said,"Based on close collaboration with our customers, we believe there is a clear value shift changing the economics of the server market.The new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor meets the increasing need for a combination of low total cost of ownership, superior performance-per-watt and scalability. Simply put, Six-Core AMD Opteron processors deliver top-line performance that’s bottom-line efficient.”The new CPU can be used in 2P, 4P and 8P configurations. AMD also claims that the Opteron 2435 is the ‘industry’s only six-core processors with Direct Connect Architecture’, which is a swipe at Intel’s six-core ‘Dunnington’ Xeon 7400-series which has to use a single shared memory controller in the Northbridge.

Over the next few weeks, systems will begin to creep out from Cray, Dell, HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems, and support from motherboard and infrastructure partners will follow suit. Also of note, HE, SE and EE versions of the six-core AMD Opteron processor are planned for the second half of 2009. The new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor has up to 34 percent more performance-per-watt over the previous generation quad-core processors in the exact same platform.

To get the six-core chips even fit into existing power envelopes, AMD has dialed back clock frequencies slightly, which is why the company cites a general performance boost of around 30% when going from a Shanghai Opteron to an Istanbul depending, of course, on the workload.The Opteron 2400-series can be deployed as a single CPU or in systems with 2,4 or more sockets and is set to range from $445 to $1,019 per CPU. The 8400-series can only be installed in multi-CPU motherboards and will range from $1,514 to $2,649.

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Old 02-06-2009
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Re: "Istanbul" World's 1st Six-Core Opteron Processors

Virtualization and database workloads can benefit from increased 4P STREAM memory bandwidth of up to 60 percent enabled by HyperTransport technology HT Assist, which helps reduce processor to processor latency and traffic. One of the architecture of Istanbul introduces a new technology called ‘HT Assist’, which aims to reduce probe filter traffic. When processing a piece of data, a CPU in a multi-CPU configuration has to probe the other CPUs to ascertain whether a piece of data held in their caches is more up to date than that held in main memory. Without HT Assist probes are broadcast to all other CPUs, and the CPU that sent the probe must wait for all CPUs to echo back before it can proceed.

To keep things simple, including Istanbul validation for system vendors, the index size will not be user-configurable. AMD has also decided not to enabled HT Assist by default on 2P systems, because the reduction in probe traffic on a 2P box isn't worth the loss of 1MB of L3 cache per processor. For what it's worth, our 2P SuperMicro H8DMU+ motherboard does expose a BIOS option to enable this feature, and we found that enabling it produced no appreciable increase in Stream bandwidth.Istanbul isn't 50% larger by either count, although its core count is up from four to six, because a 6MB L3 cache occupies a large portion of both chips.

Intel's Nehalem Xeons, of course, are also 45nm chips, and have dimensions very similar to Shanghai, with roughly 751 million transistors in a 263 mm die. In other words, even if AMD does match Nehalem with Istanbul, it will be doing so with a considerably larger chip.The new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor meets the increasing need for a combination of low total cost of ownership, superior performance-per-watt and scalability. Simply put, Six-Core AMD Opteron processors deliver top-line performance that’s bottom-line efficient.
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Old 02-06-2009
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Re: "Istanbul" World's 1st Six-Core Opteron Processors

Directories on each node track addresses mapped to the local DRAM on that node. Each CPU is considered the host of the cache information contained in its L3 directory. For many CPU-to-CPU transactions, the host CPU knows exactly which CPU to probe for the information it needs, eliminating the need to broadcast.

In addition, we got some features of Istanbul as well, here they are:-
  • Six-Core AMD Opteron processors leverage existing platform infrastructure and a low-cost, power-efficient DDR-2 memory architecture which can help lower system acquisition costs.
  • HPC, virtualization and database workloads can benefit from increased 4P STREAM memory bandwidth of up to 60 percent1 enabled by HyperTransport™ technology HT Assist, which helps reduce processor to processor latency and traffic.
  • AMD Virtualization™ (AMD-V™) technology and the AMD-P suite of power management features are available across all performance and power bands, ensuring no-compromise choice.
  • The new Six-Core AMD Opteron processor has up to 34 percent more performance-per-watt over the previous generation quad-core processors in the exact same platform.
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