As the release of 45nm Opteron processors grows nearer, AMD executives are loosening their tongues and shedding more light on the upcoming chips. CNet has had a chat with AMD Server and Workstation General Manager Pat Patla, who painted an encouraging picture of the chipmaker's progress.
Speaking of Shanghai—the code name for 45nm Opterons—Patla said AMD is working hard not to repeat past mistakes: "We had some mis-starts in getting Barcelona to market and wanted to bring as much velocity to Shanghai as possible." To that end, a lead engineer oversees the Shanghai project and sets goals so that "the product that we put in the hands of our partners is going to be of substantial stability so they can do lots of early validation."
Patla hinted that Shanghai may zoom past Barcelona in benchmarks, too. He said the 45nm process yields "a lot more (clock) frequency," and at the same clock speed, Shanghai "will outperform Barcelona by about 20 percent." AMD's retail quad-core chips currently top out at 2.6GHz, so Patla's statements give weight to rumors of 45nm Phenoms clocked at up to 3GHz.
On the scheduling side of things, Patla said servers featuring 45nm Opterons will ship in the fourth quarter of this year. The schedule for 45nm Phenoms seems a little fuzzier, since AMD told CNet the chips will "launch in the fourth quarter of this year or first quarter of 2009." The rumor mill pins that launch in late December or early January.