Feeds

Brash AMD says server chip future is two years back

Loud on paper, quiet on product

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Near IDF AMD showed its knack for bluster by issuing a processor challenge to Intel in newspapers yesterday, but company representatives took a more reserved tone during meetings with reporters. In fact, AMD's staffers wouldn't budge on a single new detail about the Opteron processor line in our interview session.

Instead of new details, AMD focused on how it established a server chip performance edge over Intel. Talk centered around AMD's Direct Connect memory architecture, its lead with 64-bit extensions and its lead with dual-cores. AMD has solved the memory bottleneck issues that continue to plague Intel, and it's not afraid to say so.

This string of successes pumped AMD full of confidence - so much so that it filled major US newspapers on Tuesday with a dual-core duel challenge to Intel. AMD knows it has a temporary lead over Intel by having a dual-core server chip already on the market. Intel's dual-core Xeon won't appear until later this year.

AMD, however, won't commit to maintaining a technology lead over Intel by, for example, releasing a four-core processor before its rival. Intel has pegged 2007 for shipments of four-core chips. AMD won't provide a date.

"We can't give you details with the next generation products," said a spokesman. "We revealed our next generation architecture two years ago, and that architecture continues to work very well for us."

So while Intel, which must talk about the future because the present isn't pretty, looks forward to numerous dual-core and multicore projects and promises stunning performance per watt products, AMD wants to look two years back.

It's an interesting strategy for an underdog, but not one we're sure will win a war against the world's largest chipmaker.

Beyond not chatting up future product, AMD won't even talk about the current state of the Opteron market. Months ago company CEO Hector Ruiz once proclaimed Sun as the leading Opteron customer on the planet - to the displeasure of big Opteron backer HP. Now AMD has decided it won't reveal who the leading Opteron customer is currently.

We were told that Ruiz would comment on the race between Sun and HP "when there's something to say about it." Such language would lead many to believe Sun still holds the Opteron sales lead, although our checks point to HP as the winner.

Similarly, AMD would not even admit frustration that one of the world's largest server makers - Dell - won't pick up its flashy server chip.

"There is nothing to be frustrated about," the spokesman said.

AMD's anti-trust suit against Intel would seem to deliver a different message.

Given the cloak and dagger machinations we had to go through to reach AMD's meeting while at the Intel Developer Forum, we'd hoped for some more information. A leak about the company's four-core plans would have garnered more free press than AMD's ribald advertisements.

Instead, we were told to "meet the lady in black on the street corner and tell her you're with AMD." Then a limo arrived out of nowhere, and we were whisked away to a plush San Francisco hotel.

The limo driver revealed that AMD and Intel both use the same driving service, and the company was doing all it could not to offend a customer. So, we winked twice, scratched our tush, did one spin and threw our IDF badge on the floor. The signal got us to AMD but not any closer to answers. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.