February 7, 2007 9:54 AM PST

AMD cranks out new Opterons

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Advanced Micro Devices released several new Opteron server processors Wednesday, including new low-power models.

Three low-power Opterons and two processors in the mainstream power category were added to AMD's product list. The low-power chips are said to consume no more than 68 watts, while the mainstream processors consume no more than 95 watts.

As is customary when chipmakers introduce new products, the five new processors mean that the prices of older processors fall to make way for the new models. But AMD also drastically reduced the prices of chips in other categories, such as the Opteron 8220 SE, which now costs half as much as it did last week.

Pricing pressure from Intel has hurt AMD's server division over the last several months. After years of trailing, Intel's newest Xeon processors perform as well as or better than comparable chips from AMD, and the smaller chipmaker is feeling the pressure to keep up sales and market share against a more competitive product. The company is awaiting the arrival of a quad-core chip code-named Barcelona that it believes will put momentum back on its side.

The new chips are the Opteron 1218, 2218 and 8218, all of which fall into the HE, or "highly efficient" 68-watt category. AMD also unveiled the Opteron 2220 and 8220 in the standard category.

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