Hammer Is 2003

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The Inquirer reports that third-party Hammer motherboard probably won’t be ready until 2003.

Of course, you need a CPU to go into that motherboard, so here is what Hector Ruiz, the head of AMD said about this two days ago.

“. . . [right now] we are sampling products that meets all of our product design goals and are right on track on our performance roadmap. We remain on track to deliver initial desktop shipments in the fourth quarter of this year, with customer product introductions in the first quarter of next year.”

That’s a direct quote from the guy who runs the company. Yell at him if you don’t like that. 🙂

A few months ago, this wouldn’t have been any big deal.

It’s now more a cause for concern because that means the Neglected Nag (that’s my new name for Thoroughbred) will have to stagger on a little bit longer before being sent to UMC (and I’m not too sure if they’re going to be an animal shelter or a glue factory for the poor thing).

The latest official AMD roadmap from two weeks ago (which has already been outdated by Mr. Ruiz’s statements) show the 2200+ in Q2 (looks like it will just make it), a 2400+ in Q3, and then a 2800+ in the fourth quarter.

Since Hammer won’t be around in anybody’s hands in 2002, the Neglected Nag will have to hold the fort all alone for the rest of 2002 and likely a bit of 2003.

At this point, you have to wonder about that 2800+. From the (admittedly very) little we’ve seen from the Neglected Nag so far; it’s not capable of such speeds yet.

Under normal circumstances, this would not be any cause for concern. With proper care and feeding, a proper .13 micron processor should easily ramp to the indicated speed.

But despite its high-sounding name, this is the Neglected Nag, and Hammer is the processor getting all the attention. Will the Hammer (black)Hole suck up what is even normal development?

“It’s All About Hammer!”

That comes straight from an AMD presentation.

No, it isn’t. You still have to get through the next six months, more likely a year or even longer, before Hammer gets a grip.

In the meantime, you can’t let your flagship product just wither on the vine. That’s suicidal.

There are three possible reasons for this:

First, this is just a matter of monomaniacal PR focus on Hammer.

Well, stop it. Give the Neglected Nag a vote of confidence and a day or two in the sun. Say what good things you expect to do with it in the near-future. Confirm that development is continuing on the product, and will continue when UMC takes charge of it.

Second, Hammer really is sucking up everything and the kitchen sink.

Well, get treatment for your OC and put back what is needed to keep the Neglected Nag viable.

Third, the Neglected Nag really isn’t up to it and can’t be pushed harder. Given its high power requirements, and comments from AMD execs like:

“. . . issues were found in the core mechanics in the transition to the smaller die size that weren’t evident in the previous Palomino chip.”

Hmmmmmm. Maybe UMC should have checked the horse’s mouth first before deciding to take it.

In that case, AMD is in for a rough time and may be in real trouble if Hammer isn’t successful, and pretty quickly.

I’m Not An Enabler

I’m getting some emails essentially saying, “Stop being so rough on AMD. If not for them, we’d have to sell ourselves to Intel to pay for a CPU.”

Do you know what this sounds like to me? It sounds like an abused spouse saying, “Please don’t call the cops; he’s really not that bad.”

I’ve watched this company for years. When they have good news, they triumph it in very clear, simple direct language. When they start shucking and jiving and going silent, that’s a sure sign something’s going wrong.

Have you ever seen a new generation of CPU that has gotten less fanfare than the Neglected Nag? Are we wrong in noticing and wondering about that? Our duty is not to AMD, it’s to our audience.

We’re not neglecting the Nag; AMD is. We suggest that AMD promote its own brand-new product, and that makes us against AMD? That’s twisted.

Don’t you think both you and AMD would be better off if AMD did that?

And if they can’t or won’t, if you think AMD somehow needs to be protected, just whom are they being protected against?

The buying public. This audience.




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