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AMD acknowledges quad-core woes; Promises rebound; Highlights roadmap

AMD chief operating officer Dirk Meyer acknowledged Thursday that the launch of its quad-core Opteron chips, formerly known as Barcelona, has been a disappointment. But he also urged customers and investors not to overlook AMD's promise and accomplishments.

AMD chief operating officer Dirk Meyer acknowledged Thursday that the launch of its quad-core Opteron chips, formerly known as Barcelona, has been a disappointment. But he also urged customers and investors not to overlook AMD's promise and accomplishments.

Meyer, speaking at its annual financial analyst conference in New York, was up front about the Barcelona problems, which have been widely reported. SPEC invalidated CPU results for Barcelona today. "We haven't delivered our quad core product according to plan," said Meyer. "We'll make good on our promise to deliver hundreds of thousands of quad core processors, but we're disappointed."

However, Meyer also noted that the consensus view that AMD is a troubled company is wrong. "Now is one of those times where we see things that others don't," said Meyer. "We've done a lot of things well, but one thing we haven't."

Overall, AMD has more positives than negatives, argued Meyer.

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Meyer added that the "one thing," also known as the Barcelona launch, is on its way to being fixed and volume shipments will launch in the first quarter. "We're hellbent on fixing our quad core," said Meyer.

AMD is looking to reshape the chip debate with a focus on platforms. Meyer noted that being the fastest chip isn't the entire game. Power matters as does enabling better graphic capabilities. AMD also has products in the pipeline to address the HDTV and mobile markets. Meanwhile, AMD also has quad-core design wins.

That's all true. In fact, the mainstream market may not really care about the gigahertz wars. "We're going to focus on profit pools of the industry. compelling performance and value for mainstream markets," said Meyer.

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But the big issue remains execution and after the Barcelona launch AMD is in the penalty box with investors and customers.

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Mario Rivas, executive vice president of AMD's computing products group, added that quad-core execution "was our number one challenge." "We are not happy with our performance. We let down our customers. And that must not continue. We will fix it," said Rivas.

Once the quad-core issues are rectified, AMD is focusing on its roadmap, which targets numerous market niches. Here's a look on what's on tap for server/workstations.

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As you can see, AMD is planning to go beyond quad-core in 2009. More to follow later.