By Wolfgang Gruener - March 4, 2008
Hannover (Germany) - AMD is ramping its 45 nm processors and visitors at the CeBIT tradeshow have a chance to see samples of 45 nm Opteron with Shanghai core and the 45 Phenom with Teneb at their first public demonstration.
It isn't like AMD is close to be releasing those processors, but the company wants to remind us that it is still working on these CPUs and they are still on track for a 2008 introduction. The manufacturer has not released any specifics about clock speeds and power consumption but spokesperson Gary Silcott told TG Daily that improvements have been made "across the board".
The initial 45 nm CPU generation will continue to be produced using immersion lithography (in contrast to EUV down the road) and, other than Intel's 45 nm chips, will not use high-k dielectric metal gate technology. AMD believes that it can be "competitive" without high-k at this time, but Silcott noted that high-k is an option to be introduced at a later stage of 45 nm production - and "definitely at 32 nm".
Of course, one can speculate, why AMD decided to delay the introduction of high-k and the question may be raised whether high-k would have moved the introduction of AMD's 45 nm processors from 2008 to 2009.
Interestingly, the naturally always concerned crowd of analysts has not yet reacted to the fact that AMD is seemingly and very carefully preparing a slightly delayed volume launch of its 45 nm processors. Back in July of 2006, or the time when Intel's Core 2 Duo came out in full force, AMD president and chief operating officer Dirk Meyer said that the production technology gap to Intel would be narrowed. He told analysts that the 45 nm product generation would be launched 18 months after the first 65 nm products (which came at the very end of 2006). This timeline foresaw a volume launch of 45 nm processors by June 2008, which would have cut Intel's time advantage from 12 months down to 6 months.
The mid-2008 phrase is long gone and AMD has been talking about a H2 2008 launch for some time now. Rhethorically, this isn't that dramatically different, but AMD has certainly given itself much more time to launch this CPU in volume. And there is probably a reason why the company has changed its message. We don't want to pin the company down on an exact launch month, but at least as of now, it does not appear that AMD will be able to gain lots of ground on its rival.
Officially, of course, AMD says that the message has never changed. It always has been H2 2008, we were told. Perhaps we are too picky.
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