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AMD pushing 2x512KB chips instead

Not to the surprise of DailyTech, AMD representatives are telling its CPU distributors to play down 2x1MB L2 cache Windsor processor sales in favor of the 2x512KB AM2 parts.  Several days ago, DailyTech published the entire AMD July 24th pricing guide complete with price cuts across the board.  The price list was surprisingly devoid of AMD 2x1MB cache CPUs, and today we know the reason why.

Several US distributors all confirmed the same story with DailyTech, either claiming either a lack of information about the 2x1MB AM2 parts or claiming AMD employees were told to disregard 2x1MB cache desktop parts for the time being.

While distributors could not tell DailyTech exactly the reason for the reduction, the cost of running two separate cores and logistics for those cores is obviously eating at the bottom line for AMD.  The additional cache per chip means fewer chips per wafers and the additional SKUs means that more marketing dollars must be spent -- and when battling it out with Intel on the pricing front, every dollar counts.

Furthermore, AMD can dedicate all of its fab resources to work on a unified design rather than splitting development between two separate cache revisions.  AMD's Turion X2 lineup does not contain any 2x1MB L2 cache components.

Update 06/14/2006: Scott Wasson from The Tech Report seems to have also confirmed that the 2x1MB chips are toast.

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AMD to drop 1MB L2 Cache F-Step CPUs
By Orville on 6/15/2006 1:44:49 PM , Rating: 3
When AMD announced their Athlon 64 X2 F-Step line on 060523 I learned three significant things, I think:

1. The F-Step line will use the latest, fastest production main memory technology available today.
2. The F-Step line will be able to go head to head with Conroe in processing power, even though Dresden trails Intel in lithography.
3. AMD now realizes that CPU power draw is a very key CPU design feature that will substantially affect their future financial results.

So, when this latest AMD rumor came down yesterday, 060614, I looked at it in terms of what I had already learned from the original product introduction on 060523. Here is my analysis. It might be interesting to somebody?

AMD has determined in the short space of three weeks since their 060523 introduction that their Dresden manufacturing process is running well, maybe even considerably better than anticipated. This enables them to recreate the three dropped parts (X2 4800+, 4400+ and 4000+) by using the smaller dual 512 kB F-Step die and cranking up the clock by just one tick. Of course this only works if they get more good parts from the same wafer, or if their power bin distribution looks better, or both. It also only works if they can maintain the same three power envelopes announced on 060523. AMD wouldn’t make the move if both these conditions weren’t true. So, for example AMD will reintroduce the X2 4800+ as a dual 512 kB L2 cache F-Step die, but now clocked at 2.5 GHz. Similarly, the X2 4400+ will become the little F-Step die at 2.3 GHz and the X2 4000+ will become the little F-Step die at 2.1 GHz. AMD can do this because they get more good parts from the same wafer, and maybe they get a better power bin distribution, more 62 and 35 Watt parts. If their average production cost per part drops they are in better position for the coming processor wars.

One last question – Have any of these parts turned up in Retail: ADD3800CUBOX, ADD3500CNBOX, SDD3500CBNOX, SDD3400CBNOX, SDD3200CNBOX and SDD3000CNBOX. Some of the P/Ns look discombobulated, but they came from AMD. I’ve been looking, but haven’t seen any yet. It’s my opinion that these are the real sleeper parts from AMD’s 060523 introduction, desktop CPUs with laptop power dissipation. If they can make these 35-Watt parts in quantity they could turn Intel’s layoff into a stampede.


RE: AMD to drop 1MB L2 Cache F-Step CPUs
By mino on 6/15/2006 8:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
You have a point.

However NO 2.1, 2.3, 2.5 AM2 parts will see the light of the day. the technology employed requieres 200MHz clockspeed jumps.

!M parts will just not appear at all. Well Conroe is gonna have some 5 SKU, even without 1M parts AMD does have have 5 normal SKU's; 1EE SFF and 4 EE SKU's = 10 SKU's to Intel's 5.
I was initially surprised when 4400+/4000+ AM'2 were announced - dindn't make sense for a capacity consrained company. Seems someone at AMD has done its homework a bit late ;).

By Orville on 6/17/2006 2:08:41 PM , Rating: 2

My mistake. Thank you.

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