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Red Hat reveals that RHEL 6.2 will support AMD's Bulldozer power saving features

Interim support in RHEL 5.7 and 6.1
Mon Nov 14 2011, 17:43

LINUX VENDOR Red Hat has said that its upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 (RHEL) will support all of the power saving features of AMD's Bulldozer Opteron processors.

AMD's Bulldozer Opteron chips deliver a number of new features that the firm claims help it beat Intel's Xeon processors when it comes to all-important power consumption. The problem is few operating systems actually make use of AMD's power tweaks such as the C6 state, but Red Hat has confirmed that RHEL 6.2 will support all of Bulldozer's power saving features.

Red Hat's extremely popular RHEL Linux distribution is seen as one of the few commercial Linux distributions of choice. RHEL 5.7 and RHEL 6.1 already support a subset of the power saving features in the 6200 series and 4200 series Opteron chips but those thinking of upgrading to AMD's latest server chip might want to wait a little longer for full support from Red Hat.

Aram Kananov, product marketing manager EMEA for Platform and Cloud at Red Hat promoted the firm's support for AMD's products, saying, "we are working with AMD in particular taking advantage of features [that are] in silicon". Kananov went on to say that RHEL 5.7 and RHEL 6.1 support AMD's new Interlagos Opterons, but when asked what that actually means to users of older versions of RHEL, he confirmed they would also run on Interlagos chips.

Kananov said, "RHEL would still run but not use new functionality in Interlagos," referring to the certain power saving aspects of the 16-core Bulldozer Opteron chips. Kananov reiterated that support for Interlagos' power saving features that will be upcoming in RHEL 6.2.

Kananov's stressing of Red Hat working "with AMD in particular" is a big endorsement of AMD's Bulldozer Opteron processors. Red Hat might be a relatively unfashionable Linux distribution for consumers but it holds considerable clout in the industry, with revenues exceeding $1bn a year, and it is the basis for the popular enthusiast and web site server Linux distribution CentOS.

Intel might contribute a significant amount of code into the Linux kernel, but Red Hat's public support for AMD's server chips shows that the company has support in the right places. µ


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