Even though the launching of “Barcelona” (previous server processor from AMD) was in city Barcelona, Spain, “Shanghai” was launched in Berlin, Germany, and not on Far East (as we expected). Presentation opened Ian McNaughton and opening word continued Emilio Ghilardi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, AMD EMEA, who will succeed next year Mr. Henry Richard on same position but worldwide. Considering that he’s relatively newcomer in AMD, with only few spent months in company, Ghilardi first spoke about reasons why he accepted new position regardless on situation in AMD.
Ghilardi said that he was impressed by Dirk Meyer, new CEO and president of company, with his exceptional vision for further AMD development. The second reason was AMD’s success that regardless on pressure created from competitors, big financial crisis and other circumstances, reflected in income increase from 1.77 billion USD in Q3, which is for 32% more than in Q2. He said that they are especially proud on successes of graphics department that took 40% of the discrete graphics market in Q3. He was extremely satisfied with launching of Shanghai one quarter earlier than it was at first planned and with successful continuing of philosophy: performance per watt per dollar.
According to Ghilardi, Shanghai CPU brings certain technology novelties like additional 300 million transistors and 45nm manufacturing process that enabled for them frequency increase for 400MHz. Despite the frequency increase and large number of transistors, 45nm manufacturing process made possible for them to achieve average thermal dissipation (TPB - Thermal Power Band) at 75W. It is very interesting information that in Q1 next year will be launched, now already traditional variation – HE (High efficiency) with 55W thermal power band. We should also mention that terms TPB and TDP (Thermal Design Power) are not the same. Simply put, TPB is average thermal dissipation and TDP is max. thermal dissipation. Performance increase from 35%, comparing to solutions present at the moment, is huge success which was also recognized from most AMD partners. Since new CPU is compatible with SocketF, in start were available 25 platforms that could improve performances by simply adding this new processor into existing motherboards (SocketF). With this move, power consumption in idle mode will be reduced for about 35% while under full load for about 21%. According to Guiseppe Amato, beside more sophisticated manufacturing process, reasons for this drastic consumption increase should be looked in architecture improvements. Enlarged amount of L3 cache (8MB) and option of copying L1 and L2 cache contents into it is one of the architecture improvements. Changes in architecture enabled faster passing into “sleep” mode of CPU cores and “deeper sleep” (lower power consumption of cores in sleep mode). Even though processors still relay on OS in determining how “deep” sleep will be, it’s important to mention new driver for Shanghai processors that better cooperates with OS in this matter. It takes 1ms for waking up the core, which isn’t that fast but this “sluggishness” is compensated with significantly higher power savings.
Leslie Sobon, Vice President Worldwide Product Marketing, briefly spoke about transition from Growth to Savings economy. Regarding on global trends in sense of recession and worldwide financial crisis, reducing the pollution and increased efficiency, because of raising energy price, AMD considered that in following period market will be more oriented on savings than on race for achieving high speeds. During last year current consumption used for working and cooling servers had already attained half of system price, making this a very important item in all business calculations. Since AMD offered possibility of using new processors even on older platforms with updated BIOS, business partners can improve ratio performance per watt per dollar with minimal investments in new hardware.
|Strato is the second largest webhosting company in Europe, established in Berlin, Germany in 1997. They host domains, sites, multimedia contents, online shops, servers etc. They hold on their servers more that 3.5 million domains and have two independent server centers in Germany. STRATO uses electricity from renewable sources, preventing the environmental pollution with CO2 emission. Most of their servers are based on Opteron processors and we saw for ourselves on the spot differences in performances between previous and new generation. Simply put, consumption of older Barcelona based HE processors at 1.9GHz is the same as for new Shanghai based processors at 2.6GHz (they are not HE). Regarding on huge amount of servers, every savings is more than welcomed as in consumption of processor or for cooling system, as in necessary space for lodging all these servers.|
After presentations have finished, Damian Schmidt, CEO of STRATO Company, briefly spoke to us. He invited us to visit their (secret) location where we participated in demonstration and plugging in of new server rack. There we had a chance, at first hand, to compare performances of new server against old one. At first glance it seems that claims reveled from AMD are truthful, but for more information you’ll have to wait until we get whole system on test. Regarding on huge number internet locations that Strato hosts, it is obvious that they needed extremely demanding hardware for this task and AMD was very pleased because they had opportunity to demonstrate performances of new processors on real example.