Looking At A Roadmap . . .

There’s been a number of articles on what AMD will come out with on June 6, much (not all) of which comes from these AMD slides.

Contrary to my fears expressed the other day, product introduction will be over a broad range of speeds (all the current speeds for dual-cores, speeds down to 3500+ for single).

There’s some speculation on the HKEPC webpage that the “FSB” on these new processors will jump from 200 to 333MHz (which certainly would reduce the ability to overclock these chips; current motherboards at best can barely get to that speed under normal conditions), but we’ll have to see about that.

In their roadmap slide, there are two items of interest:

No 65nm Single-Core Athlon 64s: The roadmap shows 65nm dual core processors, and it shows 65nm Semprons, but nothing inbetween. Single-core AM2 processors are planned to be sold until the middle of 2007, and that’s that.

A Delay In Disguise? This may be reading tea leaves, but if you look at the roadmap, you’ll see the current AMD processors listed, with the arrow indicating availability beginning from before the “1H06” timeframe, as it should.

You then see the AM2 products listed, with the availability arrow beginning just before the end of the “1H06” timeframe. Again, that’s an accurate reflection of when the product will appear.

If you take the same logic and apply it to 65nm products, oh, oh. The arrow for the 65nm dual-cores doesn’t start until around June 2007, and the Semprons around December 2007, or six months later than we’ve been led to believe.

Yes, AMD has talked about 65nm production in 2006, but 1) delays are delays and 2) they said they’d make processors in 2006, not desktop processors. Any early production of 65nm processors could well be server or mobile chips, AMD has certainly done that before.

Another six-month delay makes some of AMD’s previous actions more understandable. Apparently, at least some of the fab equipment needed to make 65nm chips is simply not available now; Intel apparently ate it all up. It seemed ridiculous to open up Fab 36 using 90nm equipment for just a few months, then have to retrofit it for 65nm use. Having 90nm AM2 for just a few months, while not as dubious, seemed less than an optimal decision.

However, if AMD can’t seriously do 65nm until mid-2007, these other actions make sense. Per competitiveness, well, even if you’re very optimistic about Intel’s next generation of CPUs, they’re not going to blow AMD’s June 6 chips away.

Doesn’t look too good for the all-conquering hero imagery, though. 🙂


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