Roadmap 2000: Tidbits from AMD and Intel

Only 60% Of The Demanded Processors

Several sources told me that Intel is currently only able to satisfy about 60% of the demand. The result for the vendors is pretty simple. They will either lose money or they have to move over to platforms for AMD's Athlon processor. This puts AMD in a great position, because they can easily take advantage of Intel's problems. At the same time AMD's Athlon is anyway cheaper and performing at least as good as Intel's processors. The only problem could be the chipset-supply for Athlon-based systems. Currently there is hardly an alternative to VIA's Apollo KX133 chipset. The vendors as well as AMD can only hope that VIA will be able to supply enough of those chipsets.


There's one situation where Intel is looking particularly sad. After AMD had released their Giga-Hertz-Athlon last month, Intel had to follow suit and launched their Giga Hertz Pentium III two days later. Intel had to show the world that it was able to make Giga-processors as well. However, while AMD is shipping Giga-Athlons at rather nice quantities, Intel is not even able to supply evaluation samples of their Giga-CPU to OEMs and system integrators. The few Giga-Pentium III processors out there require a heat sink of gigantic size, featuring a special copper 'heat pipe' that leads to another heat sink outside of the computer case. This heat sink costs some $50 - 80, adding nicely to the price of the - anyway unavailable - Giga-PIII. For me this Giga-hoax is exemplary for Intel's current situation. Over are the days when Intel used to build up large quantities of processors before they were launched. Gone are the times when Intel was the reliable partner that always used to be able to supply product. The OEMs, system integrators and motherboard makers must be close to tears remembering the history when doing business with Intel resulted in certain success and huge revenues. Can you still remember Intel making fun of AMD about their inability to supply K6-processors? Last year before the Athlon-launch Intel used to respond to questions how they see the superior performance of the upcoming new AMD-processor with words like 'yeah, well, the performance may be ok, but we know that AMD will hardly be able to ship those processors reliably '. AMD has all reasons to laugh and celebrate. Intel is currently heading at the speed of light for making a huge fool out of itself and AMD is there to save the day. It reminds me of an old line of Buck Murdock (William Shattner) in 'Airplane II - The Sequel'. "Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes "