According to the Inquirer, AMD will be releasing a limited number of Opteron chips as part of their Beachhead marketing program which seeds strategic system builders (SSBs) with Opterons prior to their launch, in a bid to increase customer demand for the Sledgehammer chip. More details are available here.

The systems very much resemble the Polywell specs we revealed earlier this week - 1U rack mounted servers, dual Opterons, up to eight GB of memory using 1GB DIMMs, and 16GB when 2GB DIMMs go into production, using 32-bit Linux, 64-bit Linux beta, a product version of Windows 2000, a beta version of .net server and - most importantly - the pre-alpha version of Windows AMD 64 (64-bit).

AMD will state and warn users that these will be pre-production units only but whatever it is, you can bet we will see some benchmark numbers around the net.