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Power-Managed 90-nm Opteron Rolls For Servers

San Jose, Calif. — Advanced Micro Devices Inc. will make its first revenue shipments of 90-nanometer Opteron server processors this week. The chips are AMD's first server CPUs to employ the PowerNow power-saving technology already used on its mobile and desktop processors.

AMD is essentially following archrival Intel Corp., which launched 90-nm Xeon processors with similar power-management technology in July. But AMD plans to spread PowerNow across all its new server CPUs; Intel's technology does not yet appear on its four-way-capable Xeon CPUs.

The move underscores the trend for both companies to integrate features into their new products rather than chase ever-higher clock frequencies. For its part, Intel will pack five new technologies into its processors as selling points, rather than crank out speedier versions. And PowerNow is the main reason OEMs and end users might want the 90-nm AMD chips.

"The frequency path is dead; now you have to add features to the processors," said Pat Patla, marketing director for AMD's server and workstation CPUs.

AMD's 90-nm parts will be offered at essentially the same frequencies, voltages and prices as 130-nm Opertons. The parts will sport a smaller die size and, thus, have lower manufacturing costs.

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