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AMD Roadmap Updates

AMD Fusion: Brazos Gets Previewed: Part 2, Performance
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AMD Roadmap Updates

AMD had its 2010 Analyst Day recently, so we felt obliged to share some of its plans for the future.

Server Market

We have said it before and we will say it again, AMD is lagging in the server market. The company knows this, and has been trying to make the point that its portfolio is growing. AMD's problem is that, Intel's Xeon 5600-series CPUs incorporate all of the same technologies that have been dominating performance metrics on the desktop. AMD is weathering the storm because it is hitting decent price points, given that this is the fourth consecutive quarter we have seen CPU prices rise. Given that server purchases tends to occur in cycles, we still feel that AMD's strongest bet is with the new Bulldozer-based processors.

Until those chips surface sometime in 2011, the Opteron 6000-series is AMD's only answer to Intel's onslaught (which now also includes a compelling Xeon 7500-series, too). Stop-gaps only go so far, so hopefully Bulldozer will be everything AMD promises it to be. AMD used to have a double-digit hold on the server market, and as of today, we are still looking at a single-digit existence.

On paper, Bulldozer looks impressive. AMD is all about cores and more cores. With the 6200-series (Interlagos), we are going to finally see AMD try and take the top spot for the server market. We're hoping AMD has learned its lesson about market timing. While it gave up socket compatibility for better performance scaling in the 6100-series, the company really needs to come back swinging in 2011 if it wants to retake chunks of the server market back from what could be considered an entrenched Intel position.

Graphics Market

Our earlier report on the Vancouver series was spot on. Prior to the 9th, there were only a handful reports on the Mobility Radeon HD 6000-series (code named "Vancouver"). If the "Blackcomb" part scales anything like the Mobility Radeon HD 5800 to its desktop brother, we are in for more treats on the performance side in 2011. Frankly, we are more interested in seeing how the "Seymour" and "Robson" parts perform.

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