Lost in all of the (inaccurate) commotion yesterday about AMD entering the netbook market were much broader changes in the company's product plans as it struggles to regain profitability and keep up with a deep-pocketed Intel. In the past year, AMD has announced plans to spin-off manufacturing, abandoned efforts to compete for "all screens" including TVs and smartphones, and at yesterday's analysts' meeting, revealed major changes to its server, desktop and notebook roadmaps.
The Core Truth
John Morris delivers straight talk about semiconductors.
<p>John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are disclaimed.</p>
AMD officially introduced its first 45nm processors today. Compared to its existing 65nm AMD Opterons, the new quad-core server processors code-named Shanghai, will offer better performance and use less power, and because they use the same socket and have the same thermal requirements, they will be available in more than 25 server systems by the end of the year, according to the company.
Intel won't announce its new Core i7 chips until later this month, but the first real reviews are popping up all over the place today. Based on the early previews, I expected to see good numbers and Core i7, formerly known as Nehalem, delivers.
Samsung has abruptly dropped its $5.8 billion bid for the memory card-maker SanDisk.
Intel will launch its first three Nehalem processors on November 17, according to a report on the site Expreview.com.
AMD and a technology investment company backed by the government of Abu Dhabi have established a new semiconductor company that will manufacture AMD's advanced processors. The new company--currently known as "The Foundry Company"--will take over all of AMD's existing manufacturing facilities, including the two leading-edge fabs in Dresden, Germany, and will construct an additional fab in upstate New York.
Samsung Electronics recently made public its $5.8 billion offer for SanDisk, a major manufacturer of memory cards.
The cost of good graphics is going down fast.AMD plans to release new versions of its ATI Radeon 4000-series graphics processing units (GPUs) for entry-level graphics cards, according to the site TGDaily.
One of the bolder goals Intel set at IDF this week is that within a decade it wants ship 1 billion Intel-based mobile computing devices each year. That's a big bet when you consider Intel estimates there will be a total of 163 million notebooks shipped this year.
Intel has given new details of what it calls the biggest change in its processor platform in a decade.The new information on Nehalem, discussed in keynotes and presentations at the Intel Developer Forum this week, was expected.
With Intel's annual conference set to start this week, AMD launched a pre-emptive strike in a press conference on Friday.AMD executives said the processor innovations you'll hear about next week are imitations of technology they introduced as much as five years ago, and Intel's Larrabee graphics architecture remains little more than a PowerPoint slide.
AMD has been on a roll lately with its Radeon 4800 series GPUs, and with the official introduction of the Radeon 4870 X2, it can now claim the world's fastest 3D gaming card.The Radeon 4870 X2 combines two of AMD's fastest GPU, the RV770, each clocked at 750MHz on a single graphics card for a total of 1,600 stream processors.
And then there were three . . .After months of rumors, Taiwan-based Via Technologies has confirmed that it will stop producing chipsets for PCs that use Intel and AMD processors.
The next version of Intel's processor family for high-performance desktops will be known as the Core i7. The China-based hardware site Expreview.
With Siggraph 2008 starting next week and IDF (Intel Developer Forum) on its heels, Intel is revealing more details of its mysterious Larrabee project. Intel has finally stated unequivocally that its "many-core" architecture will be used in desktop add-in boards for 3D gaming that compete directly with AMD and Nvidia GPUs--at least initially, though there are other applications as well.