AMD said Wednesday that its Barcelona chips are on track to be available for purchase in April.
Kevin Knox, vice president of AMD's commercial business, said in an interview at CNET's New York office that the chipmaker is set to ship Barcelona B3 parts to OEMs by the end of March. These Barcelona chips will land in OEM systems in April.
Knox said hardware vendors will "have every configuration across markets," but not all at once. The timeline for Barcelona server rollouts will depend on each vendor. The big question is what AMD's demand curve will look like.
According to Knox, AMD customers have been giving the chipmaker hell over the Barcelona delays, which were caused by an errata. Knox, however, looked on the bright side and noted that angry customers aren't always a bad thing. First, Knox reckons that there's pent-up demand. And second, it's better to have customers yell at you than write the company off completely. The customer clamoring for Barcelona could have went with Intel.
How's that for the lemons into lemonade treatment?
In fact, Knox was optimistic enough to note that AMD may not be able to meet initial Barcelona demand, but added that the chipmaker is ready for volume production.
Other odds and ends:
- AMD's Barcelona pitch to customers. AMD is positioning to customers that pick a chip on a host of factors beyond raw speed. A cynic would note that's because Barcelona will just be in the ballpark with Intel on speed. However, there is some merit to AMD's argument. Barcelona has more embedded hooks for virtualization and makes a compelling case on balancing power with performance. "Customers are moving away from one dimensional criteria," argued Knox, adding that the criterion varies by industry.
- The importance of the HPC market. On Monday, I noted Sun's HPC sales pitch and asked Knox about the perks--given AMD was in on a deal with the Texas Advanced Computer Center. So does a big HPC win lead to better corporate adoption? Knox said HPC deals don't directly translate to corporate wins, but help "as a proof point" of what's possible. He also noted that the race is on for the first petaflop system.