AMD announced its 45nm Quad-Core Opteron processor, code-named Shanghai, this week. Shanghai addresses virtualization performance by offering an improved feature called Rapid Virtualization Indexing, which reduces the overhead that comes with software virtualization. Level 3 cache size has also been increased 200 percent to beef up the speed of memory-intensive apps, and Shanghai also features DDR2-800 memory support for increased memory bandwidth. The Opteron family’s Smart Fetch and CoolCore technologies are included as well, which are designed to reduce power consumption without affecting performance.

“This enhanced AMD Opteron processor represents the most dramatic performance and performance-per-watt increases for AMD products since the introduction of the world’s first x86 dual-core processors by AMD nearly four years ago,” says Randy Allen, senior vice president, Computing Solutions Group, AMD. The new processors fit into the existing Socket 1207 architecture, he said, reducing management complexity and costs. OEMs are expected to begin shipping systems with Shanghai later this month.