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AMD cancels party as act of analyst preservation

Barcelona debacle not implicated

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From the gossip files: We've learned that AMD has canceled an analyst extravaganza meant to be held next week in Silicon Valley.

Is it odd for a company to cancel an event of this type at the last minute? You bet it is. AMD has already forked out on plane tickets and hotels for the analyst horde.

In addition, Intel plans to launch its "Penryn" line of 45nm chips on Nov. 12. It doesn't take a blonde to figure out that AMD lined up its analyst gig to steal some of Intel's thunder.

So, why would AMD rain on its own thunder-stealing parade?

Well, according to AMD spinmeister John Taylor, the company has decided that early next year will be a better time for the analyst event. AMD likes to give the technical analysts a "deep dive" under NDA into its future products.

"We are adjusting things right now that are a couple of years out," Taylor said. "We are in the process of getting these things ready for discussion."

The technology being tweaked happens to be client hardware, so it has nothing to do with the server side of the house, which Intel will hit hard next week.

One nasty rumor floating around suggested that AMD canceled the event because CEO Hector Ruiz plans to announce his resignation next week. Before we could even ask about this possibility, Taylor chimed in to say, "There is nothing dramatic or to do with the near-term that relates to our rescheduling this event."

Ah, but a devil's advocate might suggest that AMD's four-core Opteron woes are responsible for the change. IBM can't get its hands on even AMD's slowest, most plentiful mainstream versions of the new Opterons (Barcelona). And we've been digging around the Tier 1 server makers' web sites all day and found the four-core chips in very, very few places.

AMD would look the clown if it brought a bunch of analysts to town to talk roadmaps, only to have to spend all its time fending off pundits wondering about Barcelona's state of affairs. (Especially if AMD didn't have good answers.)

Again, Taylor said, this has nothing to do with Barcelona. It's all about future roadmap tweaks and wanting to give the analysts the most information possible at the right time.

"We are going to be annoying as hell," Taylor vowed, talking about AMD's public relations counteroffensive set to be unleashed as the Penryn chips arrive. In addition, AMD remains "very excited" about Barcelona.

So there you have it. Wink. ®

Bootnote

AMD tells us that the flight and hotel costs are all recoverable.

Register editor Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

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