AMD: '4x4' launch on course for second half, but not immediately

Austin (TX) - AMD spokesperson Damon Muzny told TG Daily this afternoon that prospects remain good for the company's upcoming double-dual-core platform, code-named "4x4," but that a product launch for that platform "is not on the immediate horizon in the desktop segment."

Muzny said he was responding to recent news characterizing the upcoming "4x4" launch as "soon," in comparison with Intel's launch of its Conroe and Merom platforms late last month. "Things are going well with the plans we do have in place," he told us, implying there are no causes for delay. However, the tone of his comments today made it clear that "second half" should be interpreted to mean "late fourth quarter," acknowledging that it's a "good bet" that items in that product line - whose final name is to be announced - will be available at Christmastime.

In recent weeks, during our ongoing coverage of AMD's efforts to beat Intel's price/performance curve, we've noted that the time may be ripe for a new performance-leading CPU from AMD to trigger a price drop for its existing Athlon FX-62 and FX-60 models, whose premium prices currently place them in non-competitive positions against Intel's Core 2 Duos. The time may be ripe, but not necessarily forthcoming, we're told.

Muzny said the state of the CPU battle with Intel right now is focused around availability, referring to his company's "super-strong" lineup of parts for Nvidia chipset-based motherboards as well as Socket AM2. "You can't always say that for Intel," he said, adding that customers may not realize "the majority of Intel's product is Pentium D, Pentium 4." Customers must remain careful, he advised, that they don't walk out of the store with a Pentium D when they could have had something else, even a Conroe.

The next few weeks, Muzny said, will be decided on availability of parts, conceding, "Conroe is where it is at the top end...That's great. How many sales does that account for?"