AMD Ups The Ante In Competition With Intel; Unveils Powerful New Server Chips

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announced yesterday that its delivering a six-core AMD Opteron micro-processor code named “Istanbul” in June, ahead of schedule, that promises up to 30 percent more performance than current Quad-Core AMD processors.

AMD also unveiled Direct Connect Architecture 2.0, which will accommodate up to 12 cores initially, with native virtualization performance and features to prioritize low-power consumption. AMD introduced another upcoming product, the AMD Opteron 4000 series, which is designed to address virtualized Web and cloud computing environments.

AMD says that these products reflect the customers’ drive towards performance and virtualization, causing the need for more cores and greater scalability of servers. Of course, these powerful new products represent AMD’s message to Intel that they are upping the ante to keep up with their main competitor. AMD has been struggling with sales in the enterprise space. Earlier this week, AMD reported significant losses in the first quarter of 2009, with as revenue falling 21% to $1.8 billion. The company lost $416 million, compared with $351 million in same quarter last year.

AMD has long been one step behind Intel-but this week, Intel’s position became even more clear. Earlier this week, VMware launched its virtualization software vSphere “cloud operating system” with Michael Dell, Cisco’s CEO John Chambers, EMC’s CEO Joe Tucci and Intel’s SVP Pat Gelsinger all collaborating in the event, symbolizing a powerful consortium of big-name IT companies that are supporting VMware’s virtualization products. Read more on TCIT’s analysis of VMware’s event and consortium here. VMware and Intel also announced a partnership to optimize the VMware Client Virtualization Platform (CVP) (a product that will be part of the VMware View suite of desktop virtualization products) to run on desktop and notebook client PCs utilizing Intel’s processors.