AMD bridges road to ARM with new low-power x86 server chips

AMD announces Opteron X2150 and X1150 processors for microservers

By , IDG News Service |  Hardware

AMD hopes to fill the need for scalable servers through Kyoto, which is AMD's first step in the low-power processor arena, Feldman said.

HP's first Moonshot systems run on Intel's Atom S1200 chips code-named Centeron, but AMD claims its Kyoto chips outperform the Atom chips. Kyoto offers more cores, bandwidth, performance and larger DRAM support, and also packs an integrated graphics processor, Feldman said. However, later this year Intel will release an Atom server chip called Avoton, which is faster and more power-efficient than the current Centerton chips.

The Opteron X2150 chip draws 11 watts of power, while the X1150 draws 9 watts. The Kyoto chips can come with or without integrated graphics processors. Graphics processors are better at handling complex calculations and graphics applications than CPUs, which are better for everyday applications like office productivity. AMD is recognized by industry analysts to have better graphics technology than Intel.

It may not have cost AMD much in either money or time to make Kyoto, said Dean McCarron , principal analyst at Mercury Research.

"It's relatively easy to come up with that part considering they come from the client space with server stuff bolted on," McCarron said.

The new chip gives cash-strapped AMD an opportunity to boost revenue, McCarron said.

"It's an existing market segment that is growing," McCarron said. "Why pass up on that business when it's easy to address."

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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