Advanced Micro Devices has once again made its mark on the history of microprocessors by announcing the release of a new family of microprocessors for Cloud Computing serves and this includes a chip that is worth a sensational $99.

This chip is from the Opteron 4100 family and comes in six-core and four-core variants. It was previously code-named Lisbon. They draw less power than their predecessors while achieving the same levels of performance. This little piece of information was confirmed by Brent Kerby, senior product manager at AMD.

The processors include the $99 Opteron 4122 processor, the first ever chip AMD has priced under $100. This quad-core chip operates at a speed of 2.2GHz, has a 8.6MB cache and draws 75 watts of power. Compared to Intel’s cheapest server processor which is priced at $167 according to a processor price list issued on June 20, the Opteron 4122 processor is a sure bargain if there ever was any doubt.

Trends

Cloud Computing servers is the target of a movement towards processors that can quickly scale performance. Dan Olds, the principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group states this while asking, “Can you take a huge number of inexpensive, low-power chips and get useful work out of them?”

SeaMicro and Tilera introduced specialized 512 core servers designed for Cloud Computing this month. SeaMicro announced a server that packs 512 single core Intel Atom processors in one server.

The $99 quad-core Opteron 4122 promises to draw more power than any low-power Atom chip while performing faster. However, they are doubting if the traditional servers with cheap Opteron chips are the better option for scale-out environments in place of specialized servers.

Opteron 4100

The Opteron 4100 family will also include two six core processors, the Opteron 4162 EE and 4164 EE, that draws only 32 watts of power. This is considered to be the lowest power threshold achieved by any generation of the company’s server prpocessors right now. The 41622 runs at 1.7GHz and costs $316 while the 4162 EE runs at 1.8GHz and costs $698.

The company included in its announcement a five Opteron 4100 series six-core chips that draw between 50 and 75 watts. The chips run at speeds between 2.1GHz and 2.8GHz and are priced between $174 and $316. These chips have been targeted at single and two-socket servers in scale-out environments.

These new chips reduce power consumption by 24 percent if compared to their predecessors. The improved manufacturing process are the cause of the power benefits. The 45-nanometer process is used to make these processors.

They also support DDR3 memory which is considered faster and more power-efficient than the previous DDR2 memory. There are also some chip-level improvements and advanced power management features like power capping at the hardware level so it could lower power consumption in servers.

The socket compatibility will also allow AMD’s future server chips to be plugged into servers. AMD plans next year to release a server processor with up to 16 cores based on a new microarchitecture called Bulldozer. The Opteron will be available worldwide as soon as possible which translates to, immediately. Server makers including Acer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard are exoected to announce servers soon so this process will be served to the public in a quick and convenient way.