Retail-boxed A8-7600 APUs delayed until second half of 2014

This slipped under the radar last week, but it's notable news nonetheless. Remember that A8-7600 Kaveri APU we tested back in January? Well, it's still not available as a retail-boxed product, and according to AMD, it won't be for a while yet. Here's the official word from the company, as relayed by our forums' resident AMD representative:

Production of the AMD A8-7600 is on track and will be available first to AMD’s OEM customers in Q1 2014, to ensure the introduction of AMD based systems in Q2 2014. Additional parts of the AMD A8-7600 for PIB production will be available for sale in the component channel in 2H 2014.

Translation: the A8-7600 will hit pre-built systems this quarter, but PIB, or processor-in-a-box, versions of the chip won't come out until the second half of 2014.

This is a bigger deal than it sounds like, since the A8-7600 is the only member of the Kaveri lineup right now with a thermal envelope below 95W. (The chip can be configured in the BIOS to have either a 65W or a 45W TDP.) For now, folks looking to build a low-power home-theater rig or the like with AMD guts may be forced to go with one of the company's Richland APUs, which are older and slower, especially when it comes to graphical performance.

Why the delay? This latest statement doesn't address that, but at GDC last month, I asked AMD's Ritche Corpus about the limited availability of Kaveri APUs. I was told that demand for the chips is high, particularly in China, which Corpus called the "world's biggest desktop market." The A8-7600's postponed arrival as a retail-boxed chip may be bad news for enthusiasts, but it could be a sign of overall success for AMD.

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