Advanced Micro Devices, which officially launched its first quad-core Opteron server processor on Monday, said it plans to ship a faster quad-core chip in December.
Randy Allen, VP of AMD's server and workstation division, told reporters and business partners gathered at a launch party Monday night that a 2.5-GHz version would ship in December. The first version is shipping to server manufacturers at 2.0 GHz. Server makers are expected to bring products to market in the fourth quarter.
Allen had said in previous interviews that the company planned to ramp up the clock speed quickly after the initial launch. But despite the expected boost, the AMD chip would still be behind rival Intel's fastest quad-core processor, which reaches clock speeds of 3 GHz.
The Monday night event was held at the Lucasfilm, the San Francisco production company owned by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas. Nearly a dozen AMD partners either appeared on stage or in videos, congratulating the company for its latest milestone. Companies represented at the event included VMWare, Microsoft, Novell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Appro International, Sun Microsystems, and Dell.
The latest Opteron chip, which had been codenamed Barcelona, is AMD's response to Intel's Xeon quad-core server processor, which has been shipping for about a year. Intel has versions for servers and desktops. AMD plans to ship its quad-core desktop version, codenamed Phenom, by the end of the year.
AMD claims its quad-core chip is more energy efficient and delivers a higher price-to-performance ratio than Intel's competing products. Analysts, however, have said AMD's new product places the company on par with its larger rival.