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AMD's desktop platforms detail the switch from AM2+ to AM3  (Source: AMD)

Desktop offerings from AMD will largely include dual and tri-core K10 processors  (Source: AMD)

Not willing to yield anything to Centrino, AMD's "Puma" and "Shrike" initiatives will bundle all of the company's newest mobile technology into one ubiquitous platform  (Source: AMD)
Long gone is the talk of 4x4; AMD discusses its platform programs with a mainstream approach

AMD yesterday held its 2007 Financial Analyst Day in which it revealed its updated corporate roadmap. AMD has a flurry of new platform releases planned out for 2008, 2009 and 2010 and, contrary to previous analysts days, the company had no problem detailing its initiatives in full depth.

AMD’s recent Spider launch marked AMD’s first foray into the enthusiast market with its next-generation K10 architecture. AMD, however, has two more enthusiast platforms planned out for 2008 and 2009.

Towards the second half of 2008 AMD will release its second K10-based Enthusiast platform, dubbed Leo. Leo will feature quad- and triple-core 45nm Deneb and Propus cores manufactured on a 45nm process node. The chips will support DDR2 memory, HT 3.0 and run on the same AM2+ package as current Phenom processors. The platform launch will also consist of 790FX/790/770 chipsets with SB700 south bridges, and AMD’s new R600-based graphics processors.

In the first half of 2009, AMD plans to update its Leo platform. The largest change in the "Leo refresh" will be AMD’s move to DDR3 and the new AM3 package. The platform launch will also consist of a new RD890 chipset with the SB800 south bridge. AMD will also launch its next-generation ATI R700-series graphics processors at this time.

AMD also announced its new mainstream desktop platform, dubbed Cartwheel, scheduled for quarter of 2008. The launch will consist of quad-, triple-,and dual-core K10-based Toliman and Kuma cores. The new chips will be manufactured on a 65nm process node. AMD’s RS780 DX10 integrated graphics chipset will also be launched along with optional R600-series graphics processors with Hybrid Graphics functionality and Vista Premium certification.

In short, AMD’s Hybrid Graphics technology permits users to combine integrated graphics with specific discrete graphics cards that support Hybrid Graphics to form a cost-efficient CrossFire.

In 2009, AMD will refresh its Cartwheel platform with 45nm quad-, triple-, and dual-core Popus, Heka and Regor cores. Mimicking AMD’s update schedule for its enthusiast platform, the refreshed Carthwheel platform will support DDR3 memory and come based on the AM3 interface. The platform features an RS780 chipset with a new SB800 south bridge along with optional R700-series graphics processors and Hybrid Graphics Technology.

Two is the number of the day, and that is no exception when talking about AMD’s mobile platform roadmap.

In Q1 2008 AMD will introduce its Puma notebook platform. The platform launch will sport new dual-core Griffin processors along with the AMD RS780 chipset and integrated DirectX 10 graphics via AMD’s M8x graphics chip.
In 2009, AMD will elevate its game plan in the mobile segment with the release of its first Fusion-derived mobile chips.  Consumers will begin seeing the first fruits of AMD’s Fusion efforts, which AMD has touted for over a year now.  

The Shrike platform launch will feature AMD’s third-generation Stars core dubbed Swift. Swift, manufactured on a 45nm process node, will feature three K10 microprocessor cores and one graphics processor core. The platform will also feature M9x graphics with integrated DirectX 10 support along with support for DDR3.  Like other AMD technologies, the Swift's shift to DDR3 will require a new socket, dubbed FS1.

Absent from these roadmaps is the AMD 4x4 initiative.  AMD announced it will no longer pursue the knocked-down server platform for desktop enthusiasts last month -- just one year after it announced plans for three more generations of the technology.

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By DeepBlue1975 on 12/14/2007 2:19:54 PM , Rating: 4
To see roadmaps and that Fusion is still alive and kicking for AMD.
I think Fusion will be the best move for AMD in terms of finally reverting their actual financial losses.

Competing with Intel in the high end is too risky and expensive for them at the moment, so they will have to concentrate on the mainstream, mobile, HTPC and lower end markets and Fusion seems to fit the bill for those markets.

AMD will have to deliver on its promises, though... As I guess a 2008 of non - delivering could be too high a financial cost for them, and an irreversibly deep damage to the company's image.

RE: Nice...
By KristopherKubicki on 12/14/2007 2:26:01 PM , Rating: 2
If things are bad right now, not delivering on 45nm will absolutely destroy whats left of the company's credibility with investor relations.

RE: Nice...
By Adonlude on 12/14/2007 4:16:53 PM , Rating: 1
I just checked AMD's stock and all I can say is, wow. $8.50 per share. Investing in AMD 1 year ago is pretty much as bad as if you had invested in housing or credit stocks. Goodbye 60 percent of your money.

I got an idea for a few months from now to help sell AMD's stock: Lets put shares of AMD stock in gumball machines in banks. Put in a quarter and out comes a share of AMD! Its perfect becuase we know that people who have to actually go into their banks don't know how to manage money anyway.

RE: Nice...
By StevoLincolnite on 12/15/2007 1:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
I go into my Bank weekly, I rather just take a 5 Minuit walk then do it over the Internet, and I still manage to pay $130 bucks a month for ADSL Internet, computer upgrades, house payments, car repairs and fuel, as well as other bills.

You think the shares are bad now? You should check back 15 years ago :P
Still not all is lost with AMD, They have a vision for the future, and an action plan to get there, AMD's products are good, its just the competition is better, at the moment.

RE: Nice...
By Mitch101 on 12/14/2007 5:45:54 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of engineers have said moving from 65nmto 45nm was the easiest transition with very little design changes for the shrink. At least that was Intel. Who knows AMD might get a free ride too on the 65nm to 45nm shrink.

I think it will destroy AMD if they do a buggy launch again. I would have fired Ruiz for shipping Phenom with the TLB issue instead of pushing back the date another quarter. Reputation is worth more. Then he gets a pay raise. No wonder the stock dropped. In fact he should get a pay decrease because of lackluster performance.

FIRE RUIZ!!! If you do thats plenty of money AMD could use instead of paying for his incompetence.

RE: Nice...
By Roy2001 on 12/14/2007 6:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
That is not correct. 65->45 transition is the most difficult one.

RE: Nice...
By KristopherKubicki on 12/14/2007 7:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the 65->45 transition was supposed to be a big deal because of the lithography change, but it turned out that AMD/IBM/Intel were all able to get to 45nm without changing the lithography process dramatically.

I think going from 45 to 32 is the "hard" one

RE: Nice...
By radializer on 12/14/2007 7:44:56 PM , Rating: 5
There are multiple facets to the 65nm to 45nm process technology transition as well as the transition to 32nm.

Lithography - the options are either to stick with 193nm dry litho (as Intel has done) or move to 193nm immersion litho (as TSMC has reported). Either ways, Kris is correct in stating that the 65->45 transition has used existing technology with modifications allowing a shorter learning cycle.

Further scaling to the 32nm node may require either a transition to 157nm lithography or some other tricks. However, 157nm is still not ready for mass production and has issues that need to be ironed out. So 45->32 may be a tough one as far as Lithography is concerned.

Gate Leakage - this is a different beast and is more of a physical limitation of the current ultra-thin SiON stacks. With Intel's approach of using high-K and metal gates on 45nm, they have bought themselves scaling headroom for a few more generations. The others will eventually have to follow suit with variants of their own and I believe all the major players (IBM, TSMC, Sony, etc) also have versions cooking in their labs. This is a non-trivial integration problem that has been plaguing the process industry for over 8+ years - so it's not going to be easy.

Therefore, as far as gate engineering is concerned, Intel has performed a tough 65->45 transition but may have an easier 45->32 move - while the others may have an easier 65->45 move but may end up facing a harder 45->32 one.

The end result is; it's not a clear "hard" or "easy" call but it will depend on the choices the company makes for its next process generation. Some will be easy, and the others hard.

RE: Nice...
By JumpingJack on 12/15/2007 4:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
I would disagree here... Intel was able to stay with dry litho at 193 (3 generations of learning) and a mature equipment platform.

AMD/IBM could not get the patterning to behave for dry to hit their geometric sizes needed for 45 nm (I suspect), and had to employee a new (and relatively unproven) immersion lithography for their critical layers... not that it won't be successful, but I would think this makes it harder.

RE: Nice...
By crystal clear on 12/15/2007 12:31:11 PM , Rating: 3
AMD yesterday held its 2007 Financial Analyst Day in which it did not reveal that-

AMD raised Hector Ruiz annual base salary by 7.4 percent to $1,124,000. The amended agreement was dated Dec.7/07.

Whats left of the company's credibility with investor relations - after 4 quaters of consecutive losses+more quaters to follow in 2008 of losses, the CEO gets a raise in his salary.

Fantastic - awesome !

RE: Nice...
By Amiga500 on 12/15/2007 12:33:01 PM , Rating: 3
I know.

Isn't that unbelievable?!?!

More indications of just how f__ked up the corporate world is at times.

RE: Nice...
By JumpingJack on 12/15/2007 4:14:34 PM , Rating: 1
65 nm was critical for AMD, if they had executed and produced a higher performing process -- brisbane would have been better and the K10 series would have clocked better with better power.... we can see what happened in 2007.

A repeat with 45 nm would be far more disasterous.

RE: Nice...
By defter on 12/14/2007 3:05:25 PM , Rating: 1
Why do you think that Fusion will make a tons of money for AMD?

It's basically a more efficient replacement to currently available low-end CPU + IGP combination. That's nice, but Fusion alone isn't enough to make billions for paying all expenses (fabs, process R&D, cpu+gpu R&D)

RE: Nice...
By clovell on 12/14/2007 3:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
I always thought Fusion would bring a lot to the table. I had the idea that it would allow PCs to be further customized for specific uses and that it would run IGPs into the ground via linking to the HT bus.

Then again, the details have been a little sketchy.

RE: Nice...
By Locutus465 on 12/14/2007 3:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
Fusion as a whole is more than just that... In it's most developed state Fusion will allow 3rd party upgrading of the CPU it's self, sort of like adding a Math Co-Processor back in the 386 days.

IGP, Descrete graphics cross fire is just a cool start for fusion, and is still a very unique solution which neither intel nor nvidia has an answer for.

RE: Nice...
By Amiga500 on 12/15/2007 8:42:54 AM , Rating: 3
If they can use it to off-load floating point calculations from the CPU then they are onto a winner.

The entire HPC market would become virtually AMD only - and the margins can be huge in that (admittedly low volume) market.

I'm not sure how it would affect servers, not so significantly I feel, but it could give them enough of a marginal advantage over Intel.

I don't think it would affect the desktop market too much, but its a low margins market.

RE: Nice...
By crystal clear on 12/15/2007 5:28:25 AM , Rating: 1
To see roadmaps and that Fusion is still alive and kicking for AMD.

Not for long, AMD just admitted(sort of) they paid just too much for ATI & now its depreciating its purchase drasticially.

Wait for a year or so they will admit that the Fusion is no more & the buying ATI was big mistake.

Then they will say-

"We blew it and we are very humbled by it,"

Rather it should be "We are very humiliated by it"

"We're going to learn from it, and we're not going to do that again."

Too late AMD goes into bankcruptsy by then.

the misses happened because the company became complacent in its "ability to estimate the difficulty and unpredictability of this incredible technology that we were building."

It should be "in its INABILITY to estimate the difficulty............."
that applies to Fusion also.

Roadmaps for AMD are an advertising /public relatio tool-benchmarks are a marketing tool.

Time they learn from the pizza vendor-"deliver in time or no buyers".

RE: Nice...
By DeepBlue1975 on 12/17/2007 9:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
Don't think so by now.

Fusion looks good and not so expensive to me, remember it's going to be targeted more towards low end / mainstream / HTPC than the high profit / high end market.

Fusion could even be great for laptops.

The only thing I feel certain right now is that for AMD is going to take maybe years to be back competing on the high end (if it ever gets back there), or a very blunt mistake form Intel's part.

NO R700 'til 2009??
By Warren21 on 12/14/2007 1:43:53 PM , Rating: 1
Maann, I sware everywhere I've read it was supposed to be 2H08... Ughh, ATI/AMD drops the ball again. Sure, RV670 is nice... R680 will be fast, too. It's just too little too late however.

RE: NO R700 'til 2009??
By KristopherKubicki on 12/14/2007 1:46:11 PM , Rating: 3
I've been trying to get confirmation on this. AMD isn't saying.

The last platform launched all 3 technologies together (CPU, chipset, GPU), but that isn't to say the next platform will as well.

I sort of saw R700 as a Fall launch, but maybe they're just building it into a platform at the new year. But that was all speculation anyway -- and I think anyone who claims they had a "firm" date on R700 was basically just putting a date out there to get attention for themselves.

RE: NO R700 'til 2009??
By Warren21 on 12/14/2007 1:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
I sort of saw R700 as a Fall launch, but maybe they're just building it into a platform at the new year. But that was all speculation anyway -- and I think anyone who claims they had a "firm" date on R700 was basically just putting a date out there to get attention for themselves.

I agree about the 'get attention' part, but I still believe (or hope) that they launch it sooner. We've all heard that nVidia intends to release a dual G92 card (D9E?) to smoke R680 and reintroduce 700$ graphics cards.

I just think that stretching the life-cycle of the R6xx/RV6xx series all the way until 2009 is too long (unless AMD knows something we don't about the capabilities of this arch).

RE: NO R700 'til 2009??
By Mitch101 on 12/14/2007 6:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
R700 was supposed to be sampling already. Not sure how the first run is doing or has done. Best for them to keep it as much a secret as possible to keep NVIDIA on edge.

Judging from the way R670 works. I think we will see R700 sooner than expected. Essentially it is multiple R630/R670 or smaller cores on a chip - up to 4 of them. Which if you think about it spider is 4 cards and R700 could be up to that on a chip.

Can those time lines be any smaller!!!
By Blood1 on 12/14/2007 7:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
Can those time lines be any smaller!!!

By LSUJester on 12/14/2007 7:37:11 PM , Rating: 5
Yes. In Q2 '08, all publicly displayed timelines will henceforth be reduced from 120nm down to 80nm.

I identify AMD with best value offerings
By bupkus on 12/14/2007 3:05:22 PM , Rating: 4
As I read about AMD using DDR2 until atleast 2009 I continue to appreciate AMD as the supplier for my own needs... that being machines at the economy end. AFAI care let Intel(for now) dominate the high end. I NEVER buy in that price range and don't expect I ever will. Sure, I wish I were rich but in all reality I never will be. I am so glad, even by circumstance, that there is a company(AMD)who will provide(or be associated with) cheap mobos with decent IGPs using the cheaper DDR2 memory. This price range is my world and probably the world of so many out there.
If I could get a C2D and mobo for < $100 I sure would, but why should Intel? They simply don't need guys like me.
It's kinda like cable TV. While there are so many who pay over $100/mo for cable tv why care about peeps like me? Now if there were 2 cable suppliers to my hood it might be different... maybe.
Please, I know about satelite.

By wut on 12/14/2007 4:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
If Intel "doesn't care" then why did it spend so much resources on the Silverthorne project? If it "doesn't care" then why proliferate Core architecture all the way down into Celerons ?

If it "doesn't care" then why bother shipping all those integrated graphics products?

That's all the indication one needs to say that Intel has the eyes on the entire market, and not just high end... because it needs to grow in order to appease stockholders, and it'd "grow" right into AMD's territory if it has to.

Next Gen?
By DeafDaddy on 12/14/2007 5:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
I usually follow AMD (or Intel's) future roadmaps, including all the new codenames for new/updated/future CPUs, GPUs, or platforms, but the recent AMD stockholder meeting left me stumped.

This past July AMD announced plans to unveil a 'new-from-the-ground-up' x86 architecture codenamed 'Bulldozer', as well as 'Bobcat' for low power devices, or 'Sandtiger' for server/enthusiast desktop. Would it be indicative of AMD postponing or canceling the roadmap laid out this past July?

RE: Next Gen?
By JumpingJack on 12/17/2007 12:48:44 AM , Rating: 1
You are not crazy nor stumped, AMD did in fact present a completely different roadmap during the Dec 14th meeting than they showed this past July.

All references to a next generation core, the next inflection point that would potentially enable AMD to retake the lead technologically, have disappeared... I have seen rumor mills leap at the fact that it has been pushed to 2010.

From what it appears to me is AMD is a bit in flux and lacks some direction. The body language also appears to me that AMD is not going to be shooting for the high end any more, or at least not in the near future .. Meyer I think made a big point about 'not having the best to compete, and the bulk of stuff is in the main stream' .. paraphrased.

This is sad because Intel will now lowball on the low end stuff but go for premium pricing on higher end...

$8.50/share still high for a Powerpoint company
By GeorgeOrwell on 12/15/2007 4:39:19 AM , Rating: 1
There is no evidence that AMD has any real processor that is ready for 45nm, or even any evidence that AMD even has a fully debugged and production ready 45nm process.

Heck, AMD has not even fielded any processors in quantity using their new 65nm process. If AMD had a real 65nm process, all AMD processors would have moved to this process.

Process technology aside, the problems with Barcelona will not be fixed until the Barcelona redesign is finished in 2H08. So all that AMD will have to offer is 5 years old Opteron-based chips. Not that these are bad chips. They are just slow compared to Intel 45nm Core 2 Duo, Xeon, etc.

The lack of working next generation processors makes it painfully clear is that AMD will not survive 2008 unless the company is acquired.

A potential buyer will of course have to perform due diligence to see how much of AMD is Powerpoint and how much is real process technology and processors. It would not be surprising to find out that even at $8.50/share, AMD is highly overvalued.

By crystal clear on 12/15/2007 6:13:36 AM , Rating: 1
The lack of working next generation processors makes it painfully clear is that AMD will not survive 2008 unless the company is acquired.

Dont you worry those wise guys at AMD not fit to be admitted to any business school of any repute,will come with a unique solution.

Something of the type of Asset lite/Asset smart/Fab lite stratergy,namely-Yes they will give it a fancy name.

R&D is outsourced to IBM & partners like Samsung/Toshiba etc

Manufacturing is outsourced to Chartered Semiconductor, Freescale, Infineon, and Samsung - add Toshiba/Sony also.

Marketing is not outsourced so that they have something to do-

Then they call themselves-

AMD Marketing Inc.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs
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