AMD's Dirk Meyer discusses the Opteron
This interview with AMD's Dirk Meyer, the man who directed the engineering effort behind the Athlon, covers AMD's plans for Opteron and is full of interesting tidbits on the Athlon 64 delay, AMD's die size advantage, and even the development environment at Digital. Particularly interesting is a brief discussion of an Opteron ecosystem:
If you stand back, what we are really talking about is the creation or formulation of an Opteron ecosystem and there are a whole bunch of players and agents that are going to need to be part of it. Ultimately, Fortune 500 customers are going to be one contingent. Software developers with 64-bit apps are going to be another. The good news is that the economic value equation is real obvious.
While Meyer limits his discussion of this ecosystem to Opteron, it almost makes more sense to me if AMD's entire Hammer line is included in that ecosystem. Opteron and the Athlon 64 will both share the spoils of software optimized for x86-64, and since the Athlon64 is a mass-market product, it may encourage more 64-bit software development than even the high-end Opterons.
What kind of software support is already pledged for Opteron? X-bit Labs has compiled a list of known applications that have already been or will be optimized for AMD's new 64-bit chip. According to this article over at The Inquirer, Microsoft's SQL Server can also be added to that list.