Advanced Micro Devices today released its 12-core chip, doubling the number of cores in the previous-generation chip in its Opteron line. One of the key benefits in taking advantage of the performance gains delivered by a chip with a dozen cores may be in reducing software licensing costs.

The performance its new Opteron, code-named Magny-Cours, is about double that of its six-core chip, AMD said.

Users will look at the price, performance and energy use of the chip and compare it with Intel’s x86 chip upgrades, but other reasons for moving to a 12-core chip will be the impact on overall data center space needs and software licensing costs. The chip will be sold in an eight-core version.

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