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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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Don't look back...
By iFX on 12/5/2007 3:08:49 PM , Rating: 2
AMD needs to stop trying to compete with Intel and start competing with the consumer, because Intel isn’t buying their microprocessors, the consumer is.

What do I mean by compete with the consumer? Simple, AMD has a ton of negative press and when compared with Intel’s offering they look like they are “losing” in their market. AMD needs to battle with consumers with marketing to show that AMD, in its own market is the right choice for their dollars. How do we accomplish that? By pitting AMD products against each other and reinventing the entire product line.

So how do we win with the consumer? Simple., establish a base performance level that you can market to the consumer, this level will be your cheapest product. Now everything above that product which already has a great performance level will be even better. Right now AMD has a very confusing product lineup. The K8 microprocessors have been renamed and rebadged so many times I quit trying to understand it. AMD can win back their lost market share with competitive pricing, smaller product lines and a clear purpose for each line. If AMD would market each product line better they would be in good shape.

AMD needs three principle product lines: Every day computing, performance computing and high end computing. Each product line should utilize a unified naming scheme, pricing scheme and should follow a logical progression of increased performance and price per model. Make it easy for the consumer to see what they are buying, and emphasize that the cheapest product is very good at its intended purpose. Right now the consensus from consumers is that all AMD products are poor at any purpose – AMD must change that perception ASAP, and again, competing with Intel is the wrong way to do it.

To accomplish effective marketing the product line must shrink considerably from its current state. All confusing tags must be removed, different variations of the same model must be removed, confusing pricing models must be removed and finally products need to fall into one of three distinct product lines. Here is the lineup:

Every day computing (all dual core, K8, 65nm):
AMD Athlon X2 2400+ @ 2.4 GHz - $75
AMD Athlon X2 2800+ @ 2.8 GHz - $100
AMD Athlon X2 3000+ @ 3.0 GHz - $125
AMD Athlon X2 3400+ @ 3.4 GHz - $150

Performance computing (K10, all quad core):
AMD Phenom X4 2400+ @ 2.4 GHz - $175
AMD Phenom X4 2800+ @ 2.8 GHz - $200
AMD Phenom X4 3000+ @ 3.0 GHz - $225
AMD Phenom X4 3400+ @ 3.4 GHz - $250

High End computing (K10, all quad core):
AMD FX 3600+ @ 3.6 GHz - $325
AMD FX 3800+ @ 3.8 GHz - $375

Now, I realize that K10 isn’t able to hit these speeds currently – but it will in time. In the meantime relaunches can start ASAP of current offerings with new, simplified product lines, naming models and pricing models. AMD needs to go on TV, radio, the web, bill boards, and McDonald’s cups, literally everywhere to blast their new and improved family of processors.

And finally – the biggest thing AMD has to do is leave the lineup alone for at least 12 months. No renames, no relaunches, no special editions, no nothing. Give the consumer time to grow into your product line. People will buy what they can now and upgrade in the future – if they commit their future upgrade to memory and then in six months that product is gone or under a new name then all of your marketing efforts are for nothing. People need to be able to keep their next purchase in vue, see it for sale, see it in stores, so that when they do upgrade it’s there waiting. Otherwise – they have to start their learning over, and may include a competitor in their research. One last thing – leave the prices alone. Set a price and leave it alone.

I wish AMD all the best. They have the technology, they just need the leadership. Fire Hector and fire all the marketing people before it’s too late. And while they are at it, fire the entire line of project executives as well. I can’t believe the share holders aren’t demanding Hector’s head on a pike at this point.

RE: Don't look back...
By mindless1 on 12/6/2007 12:29:49 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, AMD doesn't have negative press with the typical consumer, the typical consumer barely ever sees any press at all about AMD which is part of why they didn't gain momentum when they had comparable product in the early K7 era.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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