In theory, the Barcelona design improves communication between processors. Earlier dual-processor Opterons already had advantages in fetching data from memory chips, and the new model has improved circuitry for complex chores called floating-point calculations. The Texas Advanced Computing Center, affiliated with the University of Texas in Austin, plans to install a massive cluster of 3,936 Sun servers -- each with four Barcelona chips, giving the supercomputer 62,976 processors in all, says Tommy Minyard, assistant director of the center. One attraction is power consumption, a key factor in many computer rooms. Barcelona has a series of power-saving features and uses an older, more power-efficient style of memory chips than Intel's Xeon.
The Wall Street Journal
AMD's New Chip Is Vital to Turnaround 'Barcelona' to Compete Against Intel's Xeon; Rivalry Wins Cheers