Intel delays quad-core Penryns to pummel Phenom?
Can't hit AMD while it's down...
Intel has delayed the release of a trio of 45nm 'Penryn' quad-core processors because, motherboard maker moles allege, AMD's Phenom chips aren't mounting a sufficient performance challenge.
So claims a DigiTimes report, and who are we to comment? Suffice it to say that last month AMD admitted there were issues with its four-core Phenom 9700 processor, discovered at the last minute and which limit performance when the chip's under "heavy load" - which, of course, is exactly when you don't want to take a hit.
AMD has said it has as Bios tweak up its sleeve that alleviates the problem - at the cost of a ten per cent reduction on overall CPU performance.
This is essentially the same issue that's hit AMD's latest Opteron server processors too.
But back to Intel, which is apparently holding off the release of the Core 2 Quad Q9300, Q9450 and Q9550, all originally expected to arrive in January, while its arch-rival sorts itself out. Intel has said the chips will ship in Q1 2008, so it has two further months to release them without busting its public deadline.
With fewer Phenoms out there than anticipated, it would seem Intel feels it makes more sense to wait until AMD rolls out its three-core Phenoms - due, it's believed, in February - and line the quads up against the trios. It also gives its current, 65nm Core 2 Quads a little more space to sell before their more advanced successors show up.
More Like Unsold Inventory
The bigger issue for Intel is unsold inventory in the channel (such as X38/P35-based motherboard inventory). Besides, so far, Phenom is, quite literally, no threat even to Kentsfield (existing Q6600/Q6700), flaw or no flaw. Intel doesn't even need *Wolfdale*, let alone Yorkfield (dual-die Wolfdale) if it really wanted to plow AMD under: all it would have to do is take the Kentsfield strategy even further downstream by taking the current E6x40 Conroes and making cheap Kentsfields (Q6440 anyone?) out of them. (Sub-$300USD Kentsfield is a problem for AMD right now; how much worse would a sub-$200 Kentsfield be?) Intel is, quite literally, sitting pretty: AMD is having problems digesting ATI, has Phenom problems,
...Intel is just not under enough pressure to be releasing product before it is properly tested and ready.
It's the money, honey
With production of 45nm chips being limited, they're selling them as more expensive Xeons and QX (extreme) packages.
Intel has always been very canny at making the most money they can.
When production ramps up significantly and the demand for upgraded servers moderates, they will release the lower cost desktop chips.
More money no t better cpus
It would seem to me that intel is holding it's aces because it fears what amd will come upwith/not feeling sorry for amd.
Intel is built to make money, and it does this however it is necessary. It goes the cheapest rout on it chips if that will save them a penny i.e. putting two cores together rather than the expensive way all on one core.
They have a great advertising system and they have the money to make it go. As the old addage from the 50s How goes General Motors so goes the country.
Does this mean they are technologically impaired, by no means they have all the engineers they need and well qualified ones. But still their makeup makes them go on the cheap.
Amd on the other hand was a bunch of geeks playing in research and development. And of course their goal was good not cheap, and i believe if amd survives the assault intel has made using the soothsayers of the stock market they will again bury intel.
Ra Ra Ra
"Which is, of course, exactly why we need a healthy AMD to keep Intel trying..."
At least AMD do have a use then :-)