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AMD plans to keep "Brisbane" around, releases new chips based on it

Things at AMD may have gone from bad to worse with the lackluster Phenom launch in late November.  Not only did Phenom fail to appeal to professional reviewers, but the company ended up removing one third of its CPU lineup just after the big day.

Last week AMD CEO Hector Ruiz vowed that the company would stop hemorrhaging cash and return to profitability soon.  "That is our number one goal right now," Ruiz said in a conference in Bangalore

Making a profit at AMD apparently means refocusing on its older K8 architecture.  The company will introduce eleven 65nm K8 processors over the next two quarters.  By comparison: AMD launched two quad-core K10 Phenom processors in November with three more scheduled over the next two quarters.  Two tri-core Phenom processors will follow in March 2008.

Essentially, AMD will move any remaining Athlon 64 processors from the 90nm node to the 65nm node, with a few new frequency and TDP variations.

The AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ will be the first to jump on the new 65nm K8 bandwagon with a 65W TDP. The previous Windsor-based chip of the same featured an 89-Watt TDP. AMD will also add 100 MHz to the core frequency of the Athlon 64 X2 5600+, now rated at 2.9 GHz. Total L2 cache will be halved in the move to the Brisbane core, and the updated Athlon 64 X2 5600+ chips will feature only 1MB of L2 cache. Availability of these processors is scheduled for Q1 2008.

AMD's higher-end Athlon 64 X2 6400+ and Athlon 64 X2 6000+ will both be discontinued.

AMD will also update its "Energy Efficient" series and will release three new chips, the AMD Athlon 4850e, Athlon 4450e, and Athlon 4050e in Q2 2008. All of the new offerings will be based on AMD's Brisbane core and will feature a 45-Watt thermal envelope. AMD's current energy efficient "BE-2xxx" series will be phased out at that time. Respectively, the new chips will run at 2.5GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.1GHz.

All new Brisbane chips will be based on the Socket AM2 interface.  These processors are compatible with AMD's AM2+ socket designated for Phenom processors.

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Back the sqaure one
By cochy on 12/5/2007 10:49:59 AM , Rating: 5
What does this move indicate? Certainly failures in new chip design, innovation, what else?

Releasing new offerings based on years old architecture? I jumped on the AMD bandwagon the day K7 came out (cause that was serious innovation). Now it looks like the old K6 days for AMD. Bargain basement prices and offerings.

RE: Back the sqaure one
By StevoLincolnite on 12/5/2007 11:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
Yes the K7 was innovative, but it was Beaten by the Pentium 3 Coppermine EB chips, because they featured on Die full speed cache, until AMD moved them on-die also, then the Late Model Pentium 4's were able to beat the K7, So it was more of "Pass the Performance crown" between the Pentium 3 and Pentium 4 and K7 chips.
Really the only time Intel has been completely demolished was when the Athlon 64 and the Pentium 4/D were the only chips in the Arena, and AMD dominated, It was good as well, as Intel raged Price wars with AMD, and that... Made my computing upgrade life so much the sweeter ;)

Now... I wish for more competition, Phenom is good, but is it really what we had hoped for?
I want to go back to the days where we had the IBM 686, Cyrix 686, Pentium 2, Celeron, AMD K6-2/K6-3 those were the days of competition.

RE: Back the sqaure one
By cochy on 12/5/2007 4:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
Athlon (K7) was so important because it signaled from AMD that "Hey guys we can innovate and we aren't satisfied with being 2nd dog in this 2 dog race anymore". K7 was ahead of it's time, architecturally speaking. P3 might have outperformed it (not sure P3 was clock for clock faster though), but those days AMD had huge price/performance advantage over Intel (not so today. Yes they might but it's not as big as it once was).

Now with this announcement from AMD, by continuing with 4 year old tech, it's just the opposite.

"Hey guys, we're satisfied with being 2nd dog."

C'mon guys let's see more than marketing and branding tricks. Fusion can't come fast enough.

RE: Back the sqaure one
By cscpianoman on 12/5/2007 9:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, second place isn't necessarily bad as long as you play second place well. Take a look at Home Depot and Lowes. Home Depot exceeds Lowes in market share quite a bit, but have you noticed the performance numbers between the two? Lowes makes a killer profit by differentiating and targeting a different market. AMD can also do the same by differentiating enough that people see value in the differences and I suspect that is exactly what they are trying to do at the moment.

RE: Back the sqaure one
By Chaser on 12/5/2007 11:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
Reverting back to a bargain CPU alternative to INTEL compared to a price/performance leader may not be a bad thing. But I would say that it's a lot easier and less costly to build upward and grow rather that downsize back. If that's the case. Is the next step huge layoffs and rollbacks?

RE: Back the sqaure one
By cochy on 12/5/2007 1:02:27 PM , Rating: 1
Is the next step huge layoffs and rollbacks?

You bet. Because how can they continue to function as the "brand X" while being as big a company as they are now? They grew a lot and invested a lot in new assets back when they were very profitable (K8). Oh ya they also bought ATI. So ya, down-size a lot because your profits are going to sink (that is when they start making a profit again). AMD made horrid timing errors. Upper management dropped the ball. That's why upper management is on the way out.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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