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AMD rushes six-core Opteron processors to market

Hopes early shipping of processors will lift sagging revenue reflected in poor quarterly earnings

Advanced Micro Devices will be shipping its six-core AMD Opteron microprocessors as early as next month in a bid to boost sales and stay competitive.

The server microprocessors, codenamed Istanbul, will be available to paying customers in May, pushing ahead the delivery schedule by a couple of months. Computers using the processor are expected to be market ready in June.

Technical specifications for the six-core Opteron processor include 6MB of L3 cache, dual-channel DDR2 memory controller and are compatible with socket F infrastructure.

Early delivery means AMD now has the chance to get into the two-socket server scene ahead of Intel which has just launched its four-core Nehalem EP Xeon 5500 series. Ignoring the six-core space altogether, Intel’s eight-core Nehalem EX isn't expected until next year.

It looks like AMD needs all the help it can get after reporting increasing losses in its first quarter of the year, with revenue falling 21% to reach $1.8 billion. To put that into perspective, the company lost $416 million this year compared to a $351 million loss for the same period a year ago.

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