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Definition: Opteron


An earlier family of 64-bit x86 CPU chips from AMD, formerly code-named Sledgehammer (part of the Hammer line). Introduced in April 2003, the Opteron fully supported 32-bit applications but required that programs be optimized and recompiled to take full advantage of the 64 bits. The 64-bit version of Windows, starting with XP, also took advantage of the increased CPU word size. Intended for servers and high-end workstations, the Opteron competed with Intel's Xeon and Itanium lines. AMD subsequently introduced 64-bit Athlon CPUs (see Athlon).

Multicore Opterons
In 2005, following the introduction of its Athlon dual-core chips, AMD introduced dual-core Opterons with quad-core compatibility (dual cores could be replaced with quad-core chips on the same motherboard). In 2007, it introduced the quad-core models and later came out with 6- and 12-core chips. In 2017, AMD launched its EPYC family of CPUs for servers and embedded systems, which superseded the Opteron line (see EPYC). See AMD64, Hammer, Xeon and Itanium.