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AMD: No 'Bulldozer' Anytime Soon

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 31 comments

AMD's senior vice president and chief marketing officer Nigel Dessau said in a blog post that the next-generation Bulldozer architecture will not be available any time soon.

The funny thing about Nigel Dessau's post is that he actually has an interview with himself. In some ways, it seems like some kind of April Fool's joke, but on the other hand, an online prank just doesn't seem like the proper business-like thing to do, especially for huge corporations such as Intel and AMD. No, Dessau decided to have a Q &A session with himself to answer a bunch of questions that have recently come his way, especially in light of Intel's recent release of the Nehalem processor.

However, rather than talk about upcoming AMD products, Dessau begins the blog post talking about flattery, that Intel's Nehalem (or "Opti-clone" as he calls it) is merely a replica of the AMD Opteron processor. He even goes on to quote a statement made by Intel's Patrick Gelsinger found an article published in The Wall Street Corner, a statement that Intel's Xeon processor 5500 series is the foundation for the next decade of innovation. "Well, I almost agree with that," Dessau concurred in his blog. "After nearly six years of telling customers that the AMD Opteron processor architecture was the wrong answer, this week our competitor has finally delivered “Nehalem” ― which some might call a copy, at least as far as the architecture is concerned."

Thus, he begins his self-interrogation with the following:

Interviewer:      
Wow, you people must be really scared.

Me:                        
Nope.

Interviewer:      
Nope? Ok, how about really, really scared?

Me:                        
Nope. Nope. No, really we’re not.

He goes on to explain the reasons why AMD feels so secure: the company has been in this boat before. Over the last ten years, both Intel and AMD have traded performance leadership between each other as if passing the Olympic flame--around six times in fact. As recently as 2006, Intel made similar claims as the latest quotation yanked from the Wall Street journal. "We heard some of these same statements from Intel then, about an eighty percent performance advantage and never losing another benchmark to AMD again with “Woodcrest.” That gap closed quickly," he said.

Interestingly enough, he brings up a good point in the blog: more than 90 percent of what AMD sells is not its fastest part. Dessau said that the market for the fastest part is always small, and especially small now during a plummeting economy. Although Intel may leapfrog in raw performance with the overhaul of their server architecture, Dessau said that Intel is also introducing an new learning curve and resource drain for an already cost-sensitive and "disruption-averse" IT environment. Current consumers want value, consolidation, and ways to save money. "With all of our competitor’s talk about memory bandwidth, they have ignored the market that cares the most about having a large memory footprint ― the 4P market," he said.

By the end of the blog, Dessau moved on to talk about the 6-core "Istanbul" processor, which is apparently on track for launch in the second half of 2009; Istanbul will be compatible with existing OEM platforms. Then in 2010, AMD will introduce the next-generation "Maranello" platform that will feature the 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor. "Maranello" will also serve as the platform for the "Bulldozer" architecture slated to debut in 2011.

"Nice job Intel, but value for money is what’s key in this market," Dessau concluded.

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  • 13 Hide
    haricotvert , April 1, 2009 11:33 PM
    The title of this article is terribly misleading. There is a single mention of the Bulldozer core being slated for a 2011 release... and for that you make it the title of the article? The post is about Opterons vs. Nehalem... talk about missing the forest for the trees.

    Here's my suggestion for a title: "AMD Unconcerned by Nehalem Release." Short, to the point, and most importantly accurate. Really, whoever edited this article and let it go live with that title should recheck their journalistic integrity.
  • 10 Hide
    oicw , April 1, 2009 10:14 PM
    Agreeded. While overclocking an i7 or E8400 to 4+ Ghz is impressive, it's just about useless to the average Joe computer shopper. Any AthlonX2 processor in a quiet and cool-looking case should suffice.

    What AMD really needs is to create brand awareness, like Apple. Make it somehow "cool and fashionable" to walk down the street with an AMD powered laptop, or a bunch of creative yound college students sitting around an AMD PhenomII desktop in their dorm, or a smart engineer working around an Opteron workstation, etc.

    Of course, that's easy to say, but unless an asteroid with $10B of marketing budget magically (and softly) lands besides AMD's headquarters, grand-scale advertising is pretty hard to achieve for a cash-strapped company.
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    thedipper , April 1, 2009 9:54 PM
    He makes a good point, except for the fact that Intel is the average mindless consumer's primary knowledge. Some people buying systems have no idea what AMD is, so even though Intel's non-enthusiast CPUs are worse per dollar, they're more likely to get bought.
  • 9 Hide
    Ambictus , April 1, 2009 10:13 PM
    thedipperHe makes a good point, except for the fact that Intel is the average mindless consumer's primary knowledge. Some people buying systems have no idea what AMD is, so even though Intel's non-enthusiast CPUs are worse per dollar, they're more likely to get bought.


    I disagree... the "mindless consumer" is going to head to your local Best Buy or other big box retailer to get their computer. So ultimately it's up to the OEMs to determine what the consumer purchases. Which in a performance per dollar aspect may just be an AMD.
  • 10 Hide
    oicw , April 1, 2009 10:14 PM
    Agreeded. While overclocking an i7 or E8400 to 4+ Ghz is impressive, it's just about useless to the average Joe computer shopper. Any AthlonX2 processor in a quiet and cool-looking case should suffice.

    What AMD really needs is to create brand awareness, like Apple. Make it somehow "cool and fashionable" to walk down the street with an AMD powered laptop, or a bunch of creative yound college students sitting around an AMD PhenomII desktop in their dorm, or a smart engineer working around an Opteron workstation, etc.

    Of course, that's easy to say, but unless an asteroid with $10B of marketing budget magically (and softly) lands besides AMD's headquarters, grand-scale advertising is pretty hard to achieve for a cash-strapped company.
  • 3 Hide
    megamanx00 , April 1, 2009 10:30 PM
    Very true indeed. Kind of ashame that Bulldozer won't come as early as previously promised. I just hope it isn't due simply to management decisions, like the previous decision to delay 65nm parts just to sell more 90nm parts. That delay was a big contributing factor to the original Phenom Launch debacle.
  • 8 Hide
    jrnyfan , April 1, 2009 11:10 PM
    Intel might be able to say they have the uber l33t pwnzrz when it comes to the processing crown but my X2 4200+ @ 2.5GHz runs all of my games and applications just fine. I don't have a reason to pay for bleeding edge, that was a fascination for all of 6 months when I had an arms race with a buddy and it turns out I won with my GPU, not my proc.

    Bleeding edge doesn't make the money in the end, it's nice to hang your hat on but most people want performance/$ and that is where AMD shines again and again.
  • 1 Hide
    blazer_123 , April 1, 2009 11:28 PM
    Not one intel and nvidia fanboy saying that AMD loses at everything? What happened to Tomshardware?
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 1, 2009 11:30 PM
    Very good article, I love the fact that AMD is catching ground again against Intel, I build many custom PC,S for customers and have noticed the price creep for the cheaper Intel CPU'S and Motherboards, It seems here in the uk most of the cheaper great overclockers have disapeeared such as the 7200 and the prices have gone up not down, But with the AMD Phenom II X3 and X4 you can match these to a cheaper board and they go like stink, recently made a X3 setup and it by far outstripped my 7200 at default clock and overclocked, Go AMD go, and lets see intel bring the price down a little for their fantastic chips All in all we all win as consumers
  • 13 Hide
    haricotvert , April 1, 2009 11:33 PM
    The title of this article is terribly misleading. There is a single mention of the Bulldozer core being slated for a 2011 release... and for that you make it the title of the article? The post is about Opterons vs. Nehalem... talk about missing the forest for the trees.

    Here's my suggestion for a title: "AMD Unconcerned by Nehalem Release." Short, to the point, and most importantly accurate. Really, whoever edited this article and let it go live with that title should recheck their journalistic integrity.
  • 2 Hide
    outacontrolpimp , April 2, 2009 12:20 AM
    jrnyfan uber l33t pwnzrz

    I hope you dont talk like this in real life
  • -3 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , April 2, 2009 2:42 AM
    AMD = better by design

    Intel = better by making money
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 2, 2009 2:48 AM
    I think that Intel has managed to keep a very good edge over AMD on performance and price on mainstream processors sice the Core2 arquitecture lauch. So AMD has beed hard-pressed to keep its prices low. AMD's production costs are higher than intel's due manufacturing advantages of the latter. I have been buying and building almost AMD's only based system for the last three years, due my excellent experiences with my Athlon (original) and Athlon 64 purchases. My newer systems have Phenom X4 processors (2x 9850, 1x 9750, 1x 9550 models) they work very well but motherboards were very expensive to buy especially for 9850 and 9750 due to the 125W TDP of this beasts at the moment purchased they were the fastest AMD processors on the market but they were much slower than Intel's on raw (brute) processing power but for my objective (Virtualization) AMD's true-quad core, Virtualization extensions and memory bandwidth technologies made sense.

    I want to comment that in order to be in the mindset of people you have to be leader. People likes to buy the top-dog brand. When AMD surpassed Intel's performance crown with Athlon over P3 and Athlon64 over P4, they managed to turn profitable, and this processors weren't cheap. They had many expensive (premium category) high-end models (many above Intel pricing) . Lets face it: If you want to sell in midrange you MUST have a strong position on High-End. When your next high-end generation arrives, your last one turns into the midrange, and so over...
  • 3 Hide
    reddozen , April 2, 2009 3:50 AM
    I love my AMD 4p server. Price wise, Intel cant touch it.
    I built the whole unit in a 1U chassis for under $3000... Good luck repeating that with Intel. In fact, I could probably keep it under $5000 and build an 8p AMD server. Intel just doesn't have the best options for the middle ground server market unless you just have a LOT of money to burn.
  • 0 Hide
    alentor , April 2, 2009 5:12 AM
    HAIL AMD! I'm still using 3800+, and it runs every thing what i throw at it, yeah, i did play crysis at low/med settings with this cpu + 7600GT, the next system will be full AMD, i'm talking about the GPU as well, if before i was a true nVidia fanboy, so now im all into ATI and AMD!

    AMD is getting stronger and i want to be part of it.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 2, 2009 6:34 AM
    "AMD Unconcerned by Nehalem Release." Short, to the point, and most importantly accurate. Really, whoever edited this article and let it go live with that title should recheck their journalistic integrity."
  • 2 Hide
    ta152h , April 2, 2009 7:16 AM
    I read this stuff from AMD and want to cringe. It's so terribly disingenous.

    Here's the reality. The i7 destroys the Phenom in virtually every benchmark, and is roughly the same size. The fallacy in all this is that AMD can make chips cost competitive with Intel, but in reality, they can make the same size chip a whole lot slower. It's not a good situation.

    If the Phenom II were a lot smaller, and cheaper to make than the i7, I'd be very happy with AMD's lineup. It's not, it's roughly the same size, and BADLY underperforms it. Right now, Intel positions it high because AMD can't compete with Intel's previous generation, but there's no reason going forward that Intel will continue to position this processor at premium prices. They do because they can, not because they have to.

    AMD desperately needs something new. What this man is saying is, our processors are as good as theirs when it doesn't matter. What kind of logic is that?

    For servers, it's all over for AMD. The performance per watt is dreadfully against them, and it's going to be very difficult to maintain anything close to their current market share. Intel gave them a gift with the Pentium 4 architecture, and again with FB-DIMMs. With the i7, they're giving them a nightmare.

    I know he sounds confident, but what else can he say? In reality, he's got to be seriously concerned about the i7. Anything else just doesn't make any sense.
  • 1 Hide
    resonance451 , April 2, 2009 7:46 AM
    once again, pseudo-fact, and it seems the readership is half-retarded as well. are any of you even freaking OEMs?!

    Three years ago, it was true that AMD had conquered the low end. Two years ago it was starting to change. Before the Phenom II came out, I would have chosen Intel dual-cores above the low-end AMD's because I got better bang for the buck.

    I haven't had occasion to build an AMD-based system for myself or for most clients for the past three years. My first-ever build was an AMD, so I've a soft spot in that sense, but when I compare benchmarks and clearly see Intel coming out on top for most of the setups I come up with, I go with what works best. Insinuating Intel has the high-end but AMD has the low-end is something that should be tossed out the window because things aren't like they were a few years ago. The same philosophies don't work.

    Granted, the new Phenom II 940 is excellent and I'm actually going to finally build another AMD system again since it's such a great bargain and offers a number of perks over the low-end core i7 build I was considering, but Intel has been incredible in the low-end market and I have no idea why nobody seems to know what's going on event though all it takes is a bit of cross-referencing with prices and benchmarks/reviews.

    Oh well. Stupidity rules, so enjoy.
  • -1 Hide
    Mucke , April 2, 2009 9:15 AM
    Quote:
    ...an online prank just doesn't seem like the proper business-like thing to do, especially for huge corporations such as Intel and AMD.


    Absolutely, they are a big company, so they should dress up nicely, talk about return-on-investment, shareholder-value and they should never ever do anything funny or geeky.
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , April 2, 2009 9:39 AM
    thedipperHe makes a good point, except for the fact that Intel is the average mindless consumer's primary knowledge. Some people buying systems have no idea what AMD is, so even though Intel's non-enthusiast CPUs are worse per dollar, they're more likely to get bought.

    The average customer you refer to doesn't know that intel produces processors. The average customer responds with "windows xp" when he is asked which version of office he is using. The average customer buys a hp, a dell or other system. He doesn't know if it has an intel or amd cpu, or even how big his harddrive is. He just know that it can hold 132.000 mp3s, cause that's what the supermarked advertisement told him.
  • 1 Hide
    Pei-chen , April 2, 2009 12:36 PM
    Wow, a lot of AMD people reminiscing about Athlon X2. I guess this is what Buick and Pontiac buyers are doing.
  • 0 Hide
    JonnyDough , April 2, 2009 1:04 PM
    With time comes education neiro. Consumers aren't quite as clueless about computers as they were in the early 90's. Most people today know who AMD is. Many have added more memory to their home PC, or at least had a talk with a Best Buy idiot salesman about an AMD Turion-powered laptop. More senior citizens use email than you realize, there have been studies. Even my grandparents use it now and they're pushing 90 and are uber-religious Iowans.
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