Despite repeated denials by AMD, evidence of a delay to Kaveri is mounting.
The 28-nm APU has appeared on multiple official roadmaps, and each one has pointed to a 2013 release. The most recent roadmap, which was published in May, suggests Kaveri was supposed to be around during a good chunk of 2013:
Earlier this month, VR-Zone saw documents that suggested Kaveri would begin shipping this year but wouldn’t actually be available in the channel until mid-February. The site then quoted a statement from AMD, which said Kaveri was "on track" and would "start shipping to customers in Q4 2013." However, the statement added that "first public availability in the desktop component channel" was scheduled for "very early in Q1 2014."
After seeing the VR-Zone story, we asked AMD for clarification. Had the schedule for Kaveri changed? "At Computex this past June," the company replied, "we committed to begin shipment of Kaveri toward the end of 2013, this has not changed."
Now, weeks later, DigiTimes has chimed in on the story. Quoting its "sources from the upstream supply chain," the site says AMD has indeed updated its product roadmap—and that updated roadmap now shows Kaveri making its debut in the first quarter of next year. The report mentions high-end chips specifically, though the term may be somewhat of a misnomer. Remember, the most expensive Richland-based APU is selling for only $150 right now.
AMD has thus far chosen its words carefully on Kaveri. It hasn’t admitted to a delay, but the evidence certainly suggests otherwise. Gigabyte recently introduced a full lineup of Kaveri-ready motherboards, which seems to indicate that it expected the APU to be available well before the end of the year. When we mentioned that to AMD, the chipmaker pointed out that Kaveri’s FM2+ socket was exposed at Computex. Partners are free to announce compatible products as they see fit, the company said.
We asked AMD again about Kaveri’s availability this morning, and the firm reiterated the "very early in Q1 2014" statement given to VR-Zone. It responded to our request for information about when the chip would enter mass production by saying, "Kaveri is tracking per AMD’s most recent public roadmap, with no delay." As far as we can tell, Kaveri will begin shipping this year and be available early next, possibly as late as February. Which was totally the plan all along. Or something.
This isn’t the first time AMD had denied an apparent departure from its public roadmap. Earlier this year, the firm insisted that the Sea Islands GPUs that appeared on its roadmaps were never intended to represent a new graphics architecture, despite those documents specifically mentioning one.