IBM to use Opteron 246 in new Linux supercomputer

IBM Corp. Wednesday took the wraps off its first Opteron server, saying that it will use Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s (AMD’s) unannounced Opteron 246 processor in a forthcoming Linux supercomputer, and in the process confirming reports that the chip is on the way.

As reported Tuesday, AMD is planning to introduce three new Opteron chips in the coming weeks. The company cut prices on the Opteron 144 and Opteron 244 on Monday, and has posted benchmark results for the 146, 246, and 846 models on its Web site. [Please see AMD benchmark info, price cuts, signal new Opterons.]

An IBM spokesperson confirmed that the Opteron 246 processor will run at 2.0GHz, and will appear in the eServer 325 system, which is IBM’s first Opteron server. The Armonk, N.Y., company had announced plans to support AMD’s Opteron server at the chip’s launch in April.

The dual-processor eServer 325 will be generally available on Oct.17, with initial shipments making their way to customers in the third quarter, an IBM spokesperson said. The company will also develop an Opteron workstation slated for release early next year, he said.

IBM’s Linux supercomputer will be built for Japan’s National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. It combines a eServer 325 cluster of 2,116 Opteron processors alongside a cluster of servers with a total of 520 Itanium 2 processors from Intel Corp., allowing both companies to claim a design win from IBM.