Report: AMD planning quick transition to 32 nm

— 6:00 AM on February 14, 2011

The current crop of AMD processors could all but disappear by the spring of 2012. That's according to X-bit labs, which says AMD is planning an uncannily rapid transition to its next-gen processors and will have "virtually all" of its CPUs made using a 32-nm fab process by the second quarter of 2012.

The site, which was tipped off by a "person with knowledge of the matter," adds that AMD expects 32-nm Llano processors to make up 70% of its desktop offerings in Q2 2012. High-end Bulldozer-based designs will account for another 20%, while the remainder will be made up of Bobcat-based Brazos offerings.

Now, this report does seem a tad vague; it doesn't specify whether the aforementioned figures are shipments or otherwise, nor does it address the fact that Brazos designs are manufactured by TSMC on its 40-nm process. (AMD's latest roadmap shows 28-nm Brazos successors scheduled for 2012, too.) That doesn't detract from the key news here, though, which is that AMD may not want its current-gen parts sticking around for too long.

Such a rapid transition might be a tall order—and it could require a rapid 32-nm ramp from GlobalFoundries. The freshest reports from around the web suggest Llano, which should be AMD's first 32-nm product, won't ship until "May at the earliest." Architecture and manufacturing transitions definitely don't happen that quickly on the Intel side—we saw the first 32-nm Intel Core i3 and i5 CPUs arrive in January of last year, but Newegg is still rife with 45-nm Core 2 and Core 2-derived chips.

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