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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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RE: AMD's new Sempron
By gmofftarki on 12/5/2007 11:47:29 AM , Rating: 5
Keep in mind that despite AMD/ATi's current lack of superiority in any one section of the marketplace, they've put themselves into an interesting position strategically.

nVidia and Intel aren't getting along that well with regard to intellectual property and proprietary technologies. nVidia and AMD/ATi are direct competitors for a portion of the marketplace, as are Intel and AMD/ATi.

New Intel processors, to benefit from multiple GPUs on the newest chipsets, currently have to use Crossfire, ie. AMD/ATi graphics.

nVidia is being kept out of the loop on the new Intel chipset protocols, so, to continue moving forward, they're going to have to continue designing AMD chipsets.

Granted that neither nVidia or Intel will crash and burn, but the current situation is rather tenuously balanced, and if ATi positions themselves properly with a new product line ready to launch when something hits the fans, they'll be in a better position than now.

Personally, if I were in AMD/ATi's shoes, I'd focus on the GPU for now. 8800GT and G92 8800GTS are going to take all of the attention for about 4-6 weeks, and then there's the post-christmas buying depression. In mid-January to early February, release the 3990 (or whatever designation you prefer) and have it cream the equivalent nVidia, with the marketing being "No proprietary component requirements, but for best performance, use with the full Spider platform".

Has AMD messed up a lot in the very recent past? Sure. But I'm not convinced that they're past the point of no return, at least not yet.

RE: AMD's new Sempron
By StevoLincolnite on 12/6/2007 10:32:04 AM , Rating: 3
Has AMD messed up a lot in the very recent past? Sure. But I'm not convinced that they're past the point of no return, at least not yet.

Which company hasn't? And you need to define "Flops" some regard the AMD K6 series a flop, when they were serious value for money, Others thing the Athlon 64 was a flop when in all realization pounded Intel for several years, and now they are great value for money, ATI' took awhile to get its drivers upto Gamers standards, and that paid off during the Radeon 9xxx, x8xx, x1xxx etc.
The Radeon x300, x600, x700, x800 series didn't have SM3, Unlike the Geforce 6 series that did, Although the really only notable feature of SM3 is HDR, and that can be performed on SM2b hardware with a few extra passes.

Intel apparently flopped with the Pentium 4/D - But they had an aggressive marketing strategy and still out gunned AMD in-terms of sales.

What I would like to see is the Athlon 64 line available in Single and Dual Core, Die Shrank and Available for Socket 754, 939 and AM2, at much lower prices, I know allot of people with Socket 754 and 939 Sempron's and would literally kill to be able to spend a small amount on upgrading they're processor without upgrading memory and motherboard, and in some cases Graphics cards.

Multi-GPU System are still only an enthusiast thing, its not something that you come across everyday unfortunately, And I personally cannot find a crossfire AMD board at any of my local computer stores, yet have plenty of choices when it comes to nVidia's SLI. - Although I live in a small town in South Australia which could be my issue.

One thing I would like to see in the chipset market is, Via's return to Performance/Enthusiast chipsets, that might heat the market up and lower prices.

RE: AMD's new Sempron
By herrdoktor330 on 12/6/2007 11:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
2 things:

Don't get me wrong, guys. I love AMD and have been a loyal customers of theirs since the K6-2 days. However this Barcelona bug is a serious misstep. Since Intel has started this "tick-tock" practice, AMD is going to have to make some big improvements in the theoretical K11 to even come close to the offerings Intel will have.

Think about this: Nehalem is going to be the Conroe redesign with 4 cores on die that's coming out the end of next year. I'm sure they'll use the same trick they're using now to put 4 + 4 cores communicating through the FSB on one cpu. Plus I hear that they're going to be bringing back hyperthreading technology back on the high end Nehalem chips. So that roughly means 16 listed cores for the Intel powered system to use.

Then what happens if Skulltrail starts selling and they make a version of that chipset for Nehalem. That's a "possible" 32 listed cores on your machine. (This will be 2009's newest Apple Macintosh High End Workstation... you heard it here first. Mac fans will be proud.)

... but AMD can't even get 4 cores working properly. And who's going to bother with 3 cores? And they just killed their enthusiast package.

I know that there isn't a large portion of software that can successfully use more than 4 cores for now. But as more processing cores become available, software developers will find a way to scale to it. Once that happens, Intel's going to be getting all the kudos and AMD is going to have to build up again to try to be competative. Or they finish the bulldozer all-in-one platform they've been talking about and show how great and simple those can be. But no matter how you slice it, AMD is going to have an uphill battle to fight with Intel to win back the performance crown.

2nd thing about Via, I don't believe their angle is EVER going to be performance. They're way outclassed for that. From what I understand the C7 line has all the power of a PIII of equal or lesser clock speed. They make for great e-appliances, web surfers, and eco-friendly open home file servers (assuming you're not worried about raw transfer speed). But I'm going to go out on a limb to say they're never going to be a #1 performer ever as long as Intel and AMD are in the market. I like their philosophy though and would be inclined to buy their product if they could keep the power consumption low while offering more expandability to their boards (more PCIe, 4 or more SATA 3GB connections, and so on). If they could make the next "conroe" sized leap in performance while keeping consumption down (maybe the C8 line will do this), these would be the bomb for laptops.

But that's my opinion.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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