Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Wednesday announced three dual-core additions to its Opteron processor line up that use less power than standard versions of the chip. At the same time, the company added more dual-core Opteron chips to the high end of the line.

Power consumption has become increasingly important in recent years, as companies look to wring the most computing performance from the power they consume, and reduce the heat generated by denser blade servers.

The Opteron 1218 HE, 2218 HE and 8218 HE are 2.6GHz chips designed to require a maximum 68 watts of power, compared to 95 watts for the standard versions of the chips. The other new additions to the Opteron line, the 2220 and 8220, are 2.8GHz chips designed for high-end servers and workstations and consume a maximum 95 watts of power, AMD said.

All of the new chips are manufactured using a 90-nanometer production process and have 2M bytes of on-chip cache, according to AMD's website.

The 1218 HE is priced at $432 (£219.40) in 1,000-unit quantities, a standard quotation method for processor sales. The 2218 HE and 8218 HE chips are priced at $611 and $1,340, respectively, in the same quantities. The 2220 and 8220 are priced at $698 and $1,514.

AMD said server manufacturers such as Dell, Sun Microsystems, HP, and IBM, will offer systems based on the new chips. Details of these servers were not immediately available.