AMD Having 90nm Blues?

According to Xbit Labs, AMD looks like it may pushing back the deployment of fast 90nm CPUs another six-nine months.

Instead, they will try to squeeze one more speed grade out of 130nm towards the end of the year.

If this story is true, somebody’s having problems.

You simply don’t do that if you have 90nm technology well-in-hand. A 2.6GHz 130nm Hammer is like a 3.4GHz Northwood; it’s stretching the envelope of 130nm technology and you only put it out when and if you don’t think you can make the equivalent in 90nm.

Remember, Hammers are kind of oversized at 130nm. AMD needs the shrinkage in die size in order to make more Hammers.

Also keep in mind that FXs have top priority in any AMD improvement, and given their pricing, yields at a higher speed rating aren’t too big a deal (they certainly won’t be good at 130nm), so it’s not like they have a higher priority elsewhere.

So the most likely explanation for this is difficulty getting fast ones out. Given that IBM is having much the same problems, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

At this rate, people might as well wait for dual-cores.

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