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AMD rewrites four-core Phenom roll-out timetable

9700 and 9900 delay confirmed

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AMD has confirmed that the release of two of its Phenom processors, the 9700 and the 9900, has slipped from this quarter to the next. It claimed the move had been made for marketing reasons not manufacturing issues.

The 9700 and 9900 clock at, respectively, 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz. They're based on the same core as the troubled 'Barcelona' Opteron server chips which late last year were revealed to suffer from a glitch that impacts performance when the chip's running under heavy load.

In November 2007, AMD Europe executive Dave Everitt admitted "errata" uncovered at the eleventh hour had held up the 9700's release but that a BIOS fix could bypass them - at the cost of a ten per cent reduction in CPU performance. That's enough to make it run more slowly than the Phenom 9500, which did launch last year.

At the time, the 9700 was rescheduled, presumably for a Q1 2008 introduction. AMD's roadmap then called for the 9900 to be launched in Q1 too.

Confirming that these two CPUs have been put back to Q2, AMD late last week insisted the shift was about giving the company's mainstream CPUs more opportunity to win hearts and minds. "This is not a manufacturing issue. It's an issue of prioritizing on customer feedback," a spokesman told EETimes.

AMD will focus its attention this quarter on the four-core "energy efficient" Phenom 9000e - brought forward from a Q2 release, according to the spokesman - and the anticipated three-core Phenom 8000 series, first announced in September 2007.

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