AMD loses dual core race

@ 2005/02/08
AMD IS ABOUT TO LOSE the race to dual cores, or so it would seem. It is quite the turnaround from last September when it had a dozen or so of the beasties up and running while Intel was faking it on stage. Word has it that Intel is catching up fast, and Smithfield class chips are available internally, finally, to those who need them, and samples are going out.
The roadmaps all show Intel launching Smithfield in Q2 and AMD launching in Q3. Never mind that these chips are aimed at vastly different markets, and Intel just made a big deal about putting a silicon bun in the ovens yesterday. AMD is not sitting still.

I have heard some things that I would class as very informed rumours suggesting that AMD will be the first out of the gate. If the Intel 12 week wafer in to chip out timetable stays on track, I would expect AMD to act sooner than that, say in mid-April.

What the moles are muttering is that AMD is going to put out some dual core parts in the same way it launched the original Opterons, dribbling a few out to key customers and the public in a preview programme. If production allows, it may go bigger than that.

Either way, I personally don't expect dual core parts to be all that big a part of the AMD product mix this year, the firm just doesn't have the capacity. If you are production constrained, doubling the size of the die is not a sane thing to do unless you can sell it for more than twice the price. I don't think AMD can do that, so it will be a niche thingie until the 65 nanometre becomes a reality.

That said, I don't think AMD will cede even the slightest edge to Intel, even if it is just press relations. It has the tech and the will to stay in the forefront of the mindshare race, and if it takes a marketing stunt to stay there, so be it. ยต

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