As one of the main sponsors of this Taiwanese expo, AMD presence is strongly felt. The first day of the Computex was the opportunity for this manufacturer to hold various conferences on its products as well as a general press conference, which included the company’s upper level management.
Just like Intel at the previous IDF, AMD gave special attention to China and moreover a large part of the conference was conducted by Karen Guo, President of AMD China. Karen Guo is well known in the Chinese business community, because she is also the Director of the CSIA (China Semiconductor Industry Association), the CCUA (China Computer User Association), and Vice President of the Beijing Zhongguancun Association of Foreign-Founded Enterprises Administration Council. Her career has given her the opportunity to forge solid contacts with Chinese officials, which is important for AMD in the way that a good rapport with the Party is necessary to succeed in China.
Henri Richard, Executive VP of AMD, insisted on the industry’s interest in the Barcelona. According to him, this comes from a drastic reduction in consumption as well as the possibility of offering a lot more calculation power per bay. We were able to confirm this with a demo where a 1U rack equipped with two current Opteron dualcores consumed 260 watts versus 220 watts for another 1U rack equipped with two Opteron Barcelona quadcores. Supermicro came to the conference to present a new Blade 4P system, which is Barcelona compatible, allowing the placement of 240 CPUs per bay, or no less than 960 cores ! These systems can currently function with Opteron dualcores, but have been planned for direct use with the Opteron Barcelona when they become available.
This 1U server equipped with two Opteron Barcelona quadcores (look right) consumes less in load than a similar current server equipped with two Opteron dualcores.
Next, there was a presentation by Dave Orton, Executive VP of the Visual & Media Group. It was a bit surrealist in our opinion, first of all, because he congratulated himself for having launched a line of ten graphic cards for the first time in the history of the industry. However, only the Radeon HD 2900XT is available, and the other models have been delayed. ATI’s former CEO didn’t stop there and said that antialiasing was one of the strong points of the Radeon HD2000, while it is partly bugged and therefore not very efficient. Finally, he praised the UVD, the Radeon HD2600’s and HD2400’s advanced video engine that is not present in the Radeon HD2900, which he was content to say has high enough performances to emulate it. This was said while at the moment there is no proposed acceleration and it seems very unlikely that AMD can offer the same result in “software” on the HD 2900 as with UVD on other chips. Several times we asked ourselves if Dave Orton was actually speaking of the same Radeon HD 2900 that we tested…