AMD's comeback: Randy Allen discusses 3-core, 4-core CPUs and virtualisation

AMD's corporate vice-president and general manager of the Server and Workstation Division talks to Australian PC World

Randy Allen is AMD's corporate vice-president and general manager of the Server and Workstation Division. He talks to Australian PC World about Barcelona, the upcoming Phenom triple-core processors, the market for four core processors, and the effect that virtualisation has on CPU sales, and more.

PCW: What excites you most about Barcelona?

Randy Allen: The Quad-Core AMD Opteron is one of AMD's most significant product launches because it is the first of its kind. Our quad-core x86 processor introduces innovations that go beyond four x86 processing cores on a single die of silicon and answer today's demanding business requirements by addressing energy efficiency, enhanced virtualisation performance, improved performance per watt and investment protection for our customers.

PCW: Do you agree with your CEO that Barcelona will be "your come-back kid" and why?

Randy Allen: Absolutely, the Quad-Core AMD Opteron is the most advanced x86 processor brought to market because it's the first native x86 quad-core processor - which means a tremendous value proposition to our OEM partners concerned with power consumption. Because all four cores are located on the same die of silicon, Quad-Core AMD Opteron offers the best in energy efficiency without compromising on performance and has a tremendous energy efficiency advantage over Intel's non-native quad-core.

Industry wide, performance per watt has been one of the key factors influencing the buying decisions of the IT industry over the last 12-18 months. Our quad-core was designed from the very beginning to address a fundamental specification - that is to dramatically improve the performance of the processor while not increasing the power budget or cooling requirements one iota. If you look back to Opteron in 2003 and to dual-core in 2005, and look at the current quad-core offering, we've been able to dramatically increase the performance levels while holding the power budget. This is something that our OEM partners appreciate because they can transition from dual-core to quad-core without major disruptions to the power and thermal envelopes.

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