There are two slides from the AMD analyst conference you need to see (all slides can be seen here.
The first is entitled, “AMD Desktop Performance Platform Roadmap: 2007-2009”
You may say, “Outside of 2009, what’s the big deal?” and in all honesty, there isn’t any. We’ve seen this before.
What we haven’t seen before is this slide, named “AMD Desktop Mainstream Platform Roadmap: 2007-2009”
Look at 2008. Look at “Cartwheel.” Look at the Athlon X2 with 1Mb of L3 cache bolted on and shrunk to 45nm.
We haven’t seen that before.
Mind you, this isn’t the Sempron of Tomorrow; that would be in a “value” roadmap. Given that it’s 45nm, this looks to be a mainstream product for the end of 2008.
Do note that X2 2.0 has 1MB of L3 cache, while the Phenoms are listed as having 6MB. Big difference in die sizes.
Of course, many Christian martyrs have gone to the lions with less faith than is required to believe that AMD will have any 45nm product in 2H 2008, much less most. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take a
rocket scientist to figure out that if AMD is going to keep increasing production, they’re going to have to make a lot more X2s than Phenoms, and will try to charge for each accordingly.
P.S. The switch to 45nm in 2H 2008 (well, at least the attempt to do so) is actually a bit more believable now that it’s been revealed that AMD will not follow IBM and use high-K/Metal gate transistors for at least its first generation of 45nm processors. Guess they don’t think they can handle/can afford to handle this within a year.
Something tells me this is another gamble to save some money and time, and it will end up doing neither.