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Friday, January 11, 2008

CES news :AMD Delays High-End Phenoms,now Low-Power Version

LAS VEGAS(24hoursnews)—The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ADM is not showing their news as expected from them.

AMD was eager to give us a look at their "firing on all cylinders" graphics roadmap at CES—they're on the verge of shipping lower-end Radeon HD 3000 series products and the Radeon HD 3870 X2 (the dual-chip card we've mentioned before). But none of that is really news, and the details are under wraps until they get closer to the products' launches.

How about this, though: Remember how the Phenom only shipped at a disappointing 2.2- and 2.3-GHz, with the Phenom 9700 and 9900 (2.4 and 2.6 GHz) promised for the first quarter of this year? Well, in what looks to be a non-stop string of disappointing news for AMD fans, these two chips have now been pushed back to second quarter.

AMD tells us the delay isn't due to manufacturing problems, but instead because their OEM vendors have requested a low-power version. So AMD will soon release a new model, the Phenom 9100E, running at a conservative 1.8 GHz and drawing at most 65W of power.

Obviously the company tried to put a positive spin on things, but we can't help but think that if they really could produce Phenoms at the right clock speeds in the right quantities, they would have no problem satisfying the markets for both the 2.4/2.6 GHz chips as well as a new 1.8 GHz model. One bit of good news: the "B3" stepping of the Phenom CPU, which fixes the much talked-about TLB errata, is back from the fabs and looking good. Also, the triple-core and dual-core chips appear to be on track.

With Intel announcing a huge suite of 45-nm chips covering the desktop and mobile markets, this bit of news from AMD looks especially disappointing. We heard hints that AMD will unveil some new "stuff" regarding how they manufacture chips, that should give the industry more confidence in their ability to compete head-on with Intel. But that won't happen until at least the end of the financial quarter. We have no idea what this could be, but with the exception of the graphics business, AMD is looking like a chip maker desperately in need of some good news.

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