AMD starts shipping "Bulldozer" Opterons, FX Series delayed

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AMD yesterday announced that it had begun shipping its first chips based on the new Bulldozer core. Unfortunately for PC desktop enthusiasts, the company was referring to Opteron server parts and not the Zambezi (FX Series) desktop chips we've been waiting for months. Codenamed Interlagos, the former will arrive as part of AMD's Opteron 6200 Series platform for enterprise-class two-socket and four-socket servers.

The new server chip is based on a 32nm fabrication process and is touted as the world's first 16-core processor. Specifically, the Opteron 6200 has eight Bulldozer modules and each module contains two independent integer processors. However, each module only has a single floating point processing unit (FPU) and fetch/decode/execute unit to share between the two processing cores.

The new chips should offer up to 50% more throughput as its current 12-core Opterons while sitting in the same power envelope, according to AMD. In addition, a redesigned memory controller will offer 30% more memory performance when compared to its predecessor and a flexible 256-bit floating-point unit.

AMD said in a statement that initial production of Interlagos processors began in August, and with shipments now underway to OEM customers, Bulldozer-based systems should arrive by the fourth quarter of 2011.

Their desktop counterparts were supposed to launch in Q3 2011 with the FX Series but the company is now saying these will launch in Q4. While AMD didn't offer any explanations for the delay there has been some speculation suggesting the company is struggling to clock Bulldozer cores to speeds that would be competitive with Intel's Core i7 chips.

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