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AMD's newest roadmap reveals red flags everywhere

If you had thought that AMD would be utilizing ATI's chipset solutions for Opteron servers in 2007, or even in 2008, don't get your hopes up.

According to roadmaps disclosed to DailyTech earlier today, the company will soley rely on NVIDIA and Broadcom for server chipsets through 2008. Never mind the fact that NVIDIA is now AMD's second largest competitor.

Even before the AMD acquisition of ATI, ATI had a few years of core-logic experience (outside of GPUs and DSPs) under its belt.  Some of the designs were less than stellar desktop chipsets but the company did have designs to run with nonetheless.  AMD recently pulled out of the core-logic business about two years ago, relying on Broadcom and NVIDIA to produce all server chipsets for the company.  In the past, this would not pose a problem -- but what now that NVIDIA and AMD are not on the same team?

Indeed, if NVIDIA decided to play nasty, a pullout of chipset support for the Opteron platform would leave AMD alone with Broadcom.  Broadcom makes outstanding chipsets, but only produces high-end, low volume components.  What's left of VIA, or perhaps even SiS might be an alternative -- but why not use that core-logic team that was just part of the $5.2 billon acquisition?

Unfortunately, I don't claim to have the answers here -- just red flags.  Over the course of the next two years the AMD server chipset segment could be a real opening for new competitors, or it could be an Achilles’ Heel that comes back to haunt the company later.




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