Thursday, December 3, 2009

2010 Server Roadmaps for AMD and Intel

In my last two posts, I looked at the desktop roadmaps and the notebook roadmaps from AMD and Intel, so now it's time to look at the company's plans for the server market. In some ways, this is most interesting roadmap, because a lot of new technology enters the market through server chips. 2010 promises to see some big changes.

In general, 2009 was not a great year for server sales, because global economic issues hurt enterprise IT spending across the board, and because more widespread adoption of features like virtualization meant that some organizations found they needed fewer physical servers. But there were some important technology changes: notably, Intel's introduction of an integrated memory controller and QuickPath Interconnect, which increased the memory bandwidth among multiple processors (something AMD has had for a while with HyperTransport) and the introduction of six-core processors from both vendors.

The server market divides up into a number of different categories, ranging from machines that are really more like desktops with a single processor, to today's mainstream of dual-processor capable machines, to multi-processor machines that can typically handle four or (with special chipsets) more processors. In addition, dual-processor-capable server chips are also often used in high-end workstations.

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