Quad-core AMD chips to come later than expected?

AMD’s presence at Computex last week was fairly low-key. The hot and cramped AMD booth sat in a corner of Hall 4 facing a massive Intel ad, and there were no quad-core “Barcleona” or Phenom processors that we could see—just a bunch of “quad-core ready” systems.

A talk with folks at motherboard makers revealed a potential explanation for AMD’s lack of showmanship: Barcelona and Phenom are late. Very late. One source told us that, despite AMD’s insistence Barcelona is scheduled for a mid-year release, the processor will actually hit servers in September. As for Phenom, Barcelona’s desktop cousin, our source told us not to expect that chip out in the wild until November or December.

We weren’t shown any roadmaps as evidence, but our source wasn’t the only one singing that tune. Nvidia told us its next-gen AMD enthusiast platform would launch in the fourth quarter simultaneously with Phenom. The folks at The Inquirer also recently spotted a teaser on AMD’s website that tells viewers they will be able to “Experience the Phenomenal” in Montreal, Canada on October 6. Right under the teaser, one can read, “Coming soon: AMD’s Next-Generation Client Architecture: The AMD Phenomâ„¢ Processor Family.” Evidence therefore seems to point to a Phenom launch in October with availability the following month at the earliest. That’s an awfully long time to wait, especially considering Intel expects to have 45nm quad-core processors out the door before the end of the year.

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    • IntelMole
    • 12 years ago

    Oddly enough, this makes even more sense if we combine it with previous rumours. Remember the one at the Inq about the new process stepping that had people “dancing in the aisles” ?

    Maybe – and this is a wild guess – maybe they found they needed this new stepping to get decent yields and clock speeds out of the processor, and it just took them by surprise how much it made things better. This though, has the effect of delaying all your stuff by a bit.

    Hell, maybe they needed the new process stepping just to get the slower speeds out too.

      • SPOOFE
      • 12 years ago

      That’s an interesting idea, and preferable to other indications. However, there were hints a-plenty about some super razzmatazz with the 2900XT, and a niche of energy-apathetic overclockers aside, that product came out terribly unimpressive.

      Obviously, AMD needs a product that has its engineers dancing in the aisles. As late as it is – and as critical of a period this is for the company – they need a blow-away product. Merely competitive won’t be enough.

    • WaltC
    • 12 years ago

    Last thing I saw from AMD stated that Barcelona server chips would be shipping in the third quarter, and that the desktop variant, phenom, would be shipping afterwards. I see nothing in this info that would indicate any deviation from this schedule.

    So, why the “late” description (followed of course by a question mark, since maybe the author isn’t really sure whether he’s reporting it “late” or “on time as previously announced”)…?…;)

    No doubt that Barcelona definitely is coming “later than expected.” However, note that often “later than expected” doesn’t actually mean “late,” because no matter what, when a company announces it will ship something “second quarter” there are lots of people who translate “second quarter” as “first quarter,” so that when the second quarter arrives and the product ships they can say it was “late”.

    Does this make sense? I don’t think so. The practice nevertheless seems very popular. Saying something’s “late” seems to confer to the author a hint of insider access that, really, doesn’t seem all that deserved. After all, anyone can ask the question. Answering it, though, just seems so much more relevant and interesting.

    (If you can tell, I’m not a fan of story titles ending with question marks, because it seems to me that if you have to ask the question then you don’t have enough info to write the story in the first place, right? Just a thought.)

      • IntelMole
      • 12 years ago

      y[

    • pdjblum
    • 12 years ago

    As I have stated numerous times, AMD should stand for ‘another month’s delay’.

    • Krogoth
    • 12 years ago

    It is really sad when a flame war starts from a simple “rumored annoncment date from the INQ”.

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      I see no flame war. This has generally been decent discussion. Me needs glasses.

        • UberGerbil
        • 12 years ago

        Yeah, that was exactly my thought too. The standard for a discussion to be considered a “flame war” has apparently lowered to the point of meaningless.

        <old man>Let me tell you about USENET, sonny. Now them’s was some flame wars! Asbestos undypants ya needed, all at 300 baud!</old man>

    • flip-mode
    • 12 years ago

    I just wanna throw this out there: in a thread about the lateness of of AMDNGMA, the two most talked about topics are socket 939 and date formats. lol.

      • Whybee
      • 12 years ago

      Not that you have anything to do with this…

        • flip-mode
        • 12 years ago

        Whybee, on more than one occasion I’ve gotten the feeling that you’re stalking me.

          • Whybee
          • 12 years ago

          are you a teenage girl?

    • robg1701
    • 12 years ago

    Erm….

    The date was not the 6th of October, it was the 10th of June, ie yesterday.. The Canadian Grand Prix, in Montreal…

    §[<http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=40227<]§ ;p

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      Actually it’s here:
      §[<http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=40181<]§ And the graphic reads 06.10.07. Depending on Canada's date format, that could mean June 10 or October 6.

        • Sargent Duck
        • 12 years ago

        I’ve lived in Canada all my life, and I still don’t know what format is used. On a personal level I like month/day/year (after all, that’s how we say it in the real world, ie, June 10, 2007). However, I have a french co-worker who writes everything day/month/year. This way just bugs me to no end, as you just don’t speak like that (you never say it’s “it’s the tenth day of June”)

          • robg1701
          • 12 years ago

          We talk like that all the time here actually, id say the “10th of June” not “June 10th”.

          Its my understanding mst Europeans use the Day.Month.Year format and US/Can generally use Month.Day.Year

            • Sargent Duck
            • 12 years ago

            ahh, cool. I’ve never been outside of Canada (minor forays into the States), so outside my little box, my experince is pretty scarce.

            And #29, Neglecting the year (I don’t know about you, but I usually make a new spreadsheet for new years), I find sorting much easier using month/day/year, to sort by the month first, then the date. jan 1, jan 2, jan 3 (01/01, 01/02, 01/03)

            sorting by day/month/year I find much more confusing, as you’d get 1-january (01/01), 1-febuary (01/02), 1-march (01/03) all the way to 1-december (01/12), at which you’d then go to 2-january (02/01).

          • UberGerbil
          • 12 years ago

          Yeah, in Europe you hear “tenth of June” all the time.

          I go with year-month-day myself, makes sorting easier. If pressed, I’ll go with day-month-year, because sorting still makes sense. Month-day-year never sorts right, and is just stupid. But so is the imperial measurement system, and the US uses that too, sigh.

          (Of course, if you use an underlying date value and the display is merely formatting, as you should, sorting doesn’t matter… but sometimes you’re dealing with — gasp — actual physical files with written dates attached)

            • Peffse
            • 12 years ago

            so 25-12-99 makes more sense to you than 12-25-99?

            • UberGerbil
            • 12 years ago

            Yes (back when I wrote paper letters I used to head them with a date like “6th December 1992”). Though I’m comfortable with either one. The trouble is that you don’t necessarily know which one is in use, so if you see anything with a day <= 12, it’s ambiguous. If you have some other context (other dates that are unambiguous, or you know the author is American) then it’s not a problem. But this is why I like going year first: no one ever writes that in any order but YY-MM-DD, so while 06-10-2007 is potentially confusing, 2007-06-10 never is.

            • flip-mode
            • 12 years ago

            Year/Month/Day FTW. I didn’t know you hailed from Europe UG; cool.

            • Xylker
            • 12 years ago

            I think he hails from the Seattle area, actually. Probably just spent some (considerable) time in the EU.

            • UberGerbil
            • 12 years ago

            Yes and yes (and other parts of the world too).

        • robg1701
        • 12 years ago

        Actualy, that was the article explaining what the teaser was about, not the link with the date in it…

        Whilst your right it could be either, that is the format Canada uses for its dates (its not what we use, UK) to signify June 10th 2007. It seems a bit coincidental that a teaser with an AMD sponsered Formula 1 car, the Canadian format date for June 10th 2007, and which mentions Montreal should appear just days before the Canadian Grand Prix, in Montreal, where the first sighting of AMDs new logo should be on the helmet of a driver for the team who they sponsor…no?

      • BabelHuber
      • 12 years ago

      Yes, I saw the race yesterday and I recognized an ‘AMD Phenom’ logo on a Ferrari (I think I saw it at the side of a rear wing – quite small, BTW).

    • Krogoth
    • 12 years ago

    Intel isn’t exactly going super-fast ether.

    The only two upcoming things that are newsworthy are persistent rumors of a significant price cut on Q6xxx family and upcoming Penyrns.

    It seems like Intel is waiting for K10 to launch before making a move with Penyrns.

    • jvnderwe
    • 12 years ago

    Well that will officially make me an Intel man…

    • provoko
    • 12 years ago

    Dammit AMD, thats the third monocle I’ve broken this year.

      • zqw
      • 12 years ago

      bloody ell! what? what?

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    Did AMD inherit ATI’s execution problems or what?

    • Peffse
    • 12 years ago

    ouch…. just ouch.

    • flip-mode
    • 12 years ago

    I’m a teeny bit surprised AMD hasn’t announced a 6100+ or 6200+ Athlon 64 in the absence / lateness of Barcelona / Agena, and maybe they still will. And I’m also surprised by the fact that the majority of their CPU SKUs are still based on 90-nano. I am not surprised in the least by this announcement though. Every product intro AMD has ever done has always come latter than first expected and even then initial availability was always very tight and why should we expect anything different now with this the most complicated ever x86 CPU to manufacture? If I was one to wager, I’d put all my money on any meaningful availability of these CPUs being 6-9 months away.

      • Whybee
      • 12 years ago

      y[< I'm a teeny bit surprised AMD hasn't announced a 6100+ or 6200+ Athlon 64 in the absence / lateness of Barcelona / Agena, and maybe they still will.<]y Will it make any difference? These models will not be competitive against 3GHz Core Duos and they will not be profitable. I think very soon we'll see what Intel really wants to do with AMD. Now it would cost Intel next to nothing to push AMD into bancruptcy.

        • flip-mode
        • 12 years ago

        I think it would make some difference if AMD could launch some faster chips at the high end, eliminate a chip or two at the low end, and attempt to lift ASPs. But I don’t know shizzle anyway. And Intel’s next price cuts are already known so I don’t expect Intel is going to be “doing something with AMD”. Again, I don’t know shizzle and it is possible but I’d be surprised if Intel did anything outright predatory at this point.

          • Whybee
          • 12 years ago

          y[

            • poulpy
            • 12 years ago

            /[<"I tend to agree, but who knows. As some Intel guy put it recently: if AMD goes down we'll still have Sun..."<]/ On the server market they'd still have to compete against Sun and IBM indeed but on the consumer market (desktop/laptop) they'd be in a monopoly situation without AMD as this market is x86 only and Via can't be counted as a credible player really.

            • Whybee
            • 12 years ago

            See #21.

            All I can add to this is that in the mobile space AMD has never been a serious player, and desktop CPUs is a shrinking market.

          • Flying Fox
          • 12 years ago

          q[

    • CampinCarl
    • 12 years ago

    Times like these are when the monetary cracks of AMD show through. If Intel keeps up this breakneck pace, AMD won’t be able to keep up. They simply can’t–they don’t have the money for it.

    • clone
    • 12 years ago

    man AMD have really made a mess of things lately, good products don’t cut it in the fickle hardware market CPU’s have to be more than competitive and no matter what some form of high end offering has to be available.

    AMD really shot their foot off when they dropped socket 939 support so quickly pushing alot of enthusiasts to Intel, that incredibly stupid 4X4 release only hastened things along and now they are only able to sell low margin inexpensive EE cpu’s things are not rosy at all in the green camp.

      • Shinare
      • 12 years ago

      Although I currently I’m an angry s939 user, I dont think that dropping support for the socket has anything to do with it. I think it has more to do with not having a processor that can compete with Intel. Having massive price drops on every processor you make just to make them semi-competitive at a price point speaks volumes about the current state of their architecture.

          • Whybee
          • 12 years ago

          What about the $80 difference compared to AM2?

          §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=socket+am2&x=0&y=0<]§ I am also a s939 owner and I'm not happy at all about this.

            • flip-mode
            • 12 years ago

            $80 difference between what and what? I just went and compared the AM2 Opty prices to the 939 Opty prices and there’s only $5 difference in most cases.

            • Whybee
            • 12 years ago

            Difference between 2.6Ghz models for s939 and AM2. Why would i need an Opteron for my desktop? I want an X2 5000+

            • flip-mode
            • 12 years ago

            I guess you’ll have to be upset then. But just so you know, the x2-5000 has 2*512K cache, the Opty has 2*1MB; the Opty comes with a VERY nice heatpipe heatsink, and the Optys are known to be more reliable OCers than the X2s. I’d take the Opty any day of the week. It’s not like stock speed of the thing makes a difference to me since we all know I’d overclock it within 10 minutes of getting the OS installed.

            • Whybee
            • 12 years ago

            Yeah, I just hoped for a cheap upgrade. As it is I’d rather build a Core Duo rig. Would not be much more expensive and I wanted to replace my 7800GT anyway.

      • Flying Fox
      • 12 years ago

      All that stuff you mentioned don’t matter much in the boarder market. They probably don’t even know CPUs plug into sockets.

    • wingless
    • 12 years ago

    I honestly think maybe the public was expecting too much out of a company that just merged with another major company and redid their entire fab process at the same time.

    Also after a lot of us went AM2 its still early for an upgrade anyway. Actually I’m still on s939 with an Opteron 185. All I want to see from AMD is a 65nm Radeon HD 2900XT/X with 1gb because even the 80nm current process overclocks to hell and back.

    If your system takes 20 seconds longer than a C2D to get a job done and you cant wait that long then maybe its time you sit down and read a book to recondition your mind and regain some of your lost patience. Or possibly you just need Adderall XR 30mg.

      • Lord.Blue
      • 12 years ago

      I think you hit it on the head. AMD is still in a restructuring mode and a process shrink mode from 90 to 65, and now from 65 to 45nm.

      • UberGerbil
      • 12 years ago

      It’s about /[

      • SPOOFE
      • 12 years ago

      y[

    • Spotpuff
    • 12 years ago

    Ugh. Come on AMD pull yourself out of this rut.

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