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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: Goodbye AMD
By gusc3669 on 12/5/2007 12:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
I am not an IT person, but I agree that while playing "one-ups" by producing a chip that is faster (clockwise) than the competitor's chip is not the way to go (eventually), it did sell chips back in the Pentium era, along with bragging rights, until AMD took a next step and produced their Athlon (Socket A) chips. I still own a Socket A computer and remember that it was not the fastest when I purchased it, but it was more efficient and could perform operations on par or better than the faster, more expensive, Pentiums.

AMD needs this "next step" in innovation if it is to remain competitive and get back to its desired profitability. Yes, you could compete in the "budget" arena but not if the competition is providing equal or better offerings at relatively the same price point. AMD would also need to ramp up the volume sold if it wants to go this route which does not seem to be occurring as the majority of new the Dell/HP/Corporate mainstream purchases are Intel based (at least in the various companies I've been associated with). Making their products on the 65nm die, increasing the clock rate, and possibly lowering the price is fine if they want to remain competitive and sell some chips, but don't cut the other items which add to the chips overall performance.


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