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AMD plays the blind squirrel, but that won't last says analyst

Intel had big expectations for Sandy Bridge in notebook computers. The Sandy Bridge platform was the first CPU from Intel to offer graphics and the processor on the same die.

EWeek reports that FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger has noted that after checks with six of the top ODMs for notebooks builds of machines using the new processors from Intel were lower than expected during Q1 and similarly low builds are expected in Q2 as well. Berger wrote, "While notebook demand could improve, and builds could get ratcheted up by June, our contacts suggest Intel's Sandy Bridge products are not stimulating as much end demand as expected, likely impacting AMD, too."

The reason that some think the Sandy Bridge platform isn’t selling well is the Cougar Point flaw that was reported back in late January. The flaw affected SATA ports on boards that used the chipset. The issue would likely result in reduced performance over time. Intel has started shipping the flawed chipsets again in configurations that won't be affected by the SATA ports that may become non-functional over time.

AMD has already noted that Intel's folly with the Cougar Point chipset has helped it to gain some ground. Other than the Cougar Point issue, analysts also think that the booming tablet market may be cutting into the notebook market resulting in reduced sales. AMD expected to benefit from the issue with Intel chipsets, but Berger doesn't expect that benefit to last long. He thinks AMD's Q1 revenue will hit the high-end of expectations or perhaps even exceed the high-end but he doesn't expect that to carry over into Q2.

Berger said, "So, if AMD does achieve the high end of revenue guidance, or potentially better, the upside is likely short term in nature and due to customers turning to AMD for product when Intel's Sandy Bridge was less available due to the chipset bug recall," Berger said in the note. "For 2Q, we think AMD's revenues will fall [quarter over quarter] given its 14th week in 1Q, Intel chipset goodness unwinding, and sluggish desktop builds, still rather unexciting."

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RE: "flaw"
By omnicronx on 4/4/2011 4:29:53 PM , Rating: 4
The flaw hasn't left a bad taste about Sandy Bridge in anyone's mouths.
Of course it has, the manufacturers were flat out not using them.

Consumer backlash is not the only impact a recall can have..

If the major manufacturers were not selling them in Q1 (which they were not), consumer opinion does not mean very much as they are not the ones truly making the decision.

Even now you can only find them on higher end machines, most likely because they were weary of the second generation chips that had the supposed fix. The manufacturers have been making the choice for consumers, leaving Cougar Point to higher end laptops and forgoing using it on almost all of its mid and low end laptops.

As I result I don't really think its because they cost too much (the higher end laptops are priced quite nicely compared to the alternatives all things considered), its merely the general availability on lower end machines which is clearly going to impact your volume sales.

RE: "flaw"
By JarredWalton on 4/4/2011 5:47:54 PM , Rating: 5
This whole report is stupid beyond words. Of COURSE Sandy Bridge sales were lower than expected for Q1... like probably they sold close to nothing in February and March. Fixed chipsets really only started showing up in the latter part of March, and for many OEMs it won't be until late April that all supply constraints are gone.

Which is not to say that there aren't people who are down on SNB, but for notebooks I think it's a great upgrade. The catch is that you should probably be running a Core 2 tech laptop for the upgrade to make sense; if you already have Arrandale, the update is only incremental.

RE: "flaw"
By Samus on 4/5/2011 11:51:02 AM , Rating: 2
Most people shopping for a laptop that ordered a Sandy Bridge system that had their order canceled probably didn't say "I'll just cancel my order, I don't need a computer." They probably just ordered something that was available.

Manufactures can be pissed all they want, but they definately aren't hurting from it economically, especially considering Intel is buying back the chips in motherboard-form at damn near retail cost.

RE: "flaw"
By BSMonitor on 4/5/11, Rating: 0
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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