AMD launches low-power server chips to cut energy use in data centers

Advanced Micro Devices is launching its lowest power Opteron server chips today in an effort to cool down overheating data centers.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chip maker is focusing on cutting the costs of energy usage in data centers. For every $1 that a company spends on a server, it has to spend 53 cents on ways to keep it cool. If the chip is more energy efficient to begin with, then the cooling costs aren’t as high. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be a good thing if our data centers didn’t melt down or cause the sea levels to rise.

Brent Kerby, senior product marketing manager at AMD said the new microprocessor has six cores, or processing brains, and operates on 40 watts of power. AMD’s previous server chips used 75 watts and 55 watts. The new chips have 30 percent higher performance per watt of power used. With the lower 40-watt power consumption, AMD can now fit 42 servers in a rack. With 55 watts, it could only get 34 servers in a rack, because of added cooling. And with 75 watt processors, it could only fit 24 servers in a rack. Intel’s chips operate on 120, 105, 95, 85, and 60-watt levels.

Kerby says the chips can outdo Intel server chips in part because they use the older DDR2 memory, which can save $1,000 per server compared to newer Intel-based servers with DDR3 memory chips. That can add up to a savings of $1 million per year, Kerby says. Of course, you can expect Intel to counter AMD.

[Photo source: 1&1]