No Athlon 64 until September

— 5:16 AM on January 31, 2003

It looks like the wait for Hammer, at least its desktop Athlon 64 iteration, just got a little longer. Sniff.

AMD WILL say today that it won't launch the Athlon 64 (Clawhammer) until September this year – and Microsoft is the reason for the delay this time round.

The firm also will confirm the release of a Barton XP at 3000+ on the 10th of February – another Barton at 3200+ will appear in the middle of the year.

But AMD will introduce its Opteron (Sledgehammer) chips at speeds of 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz in New York on April 22nd.

I've said before that Hammer's desktop success would require strong support from Microsoft, and it looks like I wasn't all that far off the mark. Microsoft must not be able to push out a finished 64-bit desktop operating system before September, and that's holding AMD back. Since Microsoft appears unable to deliver an operating system for desktop Athlon 64s, I have to wonder what's stopping AMD from releasing a limited number of Athlon 64s for the desktop Linux crowd.

If there's a silver lining for this story, perhaps it's that Athlon 64s should be available in volume when they're finally released. AMD could conceivably stockpile processors in preparation for a September release, and iron out any mass production difficulties along the way.

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