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Market watcher warns of 'Nehalem' slippage

Customer expectations high, Intel told

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Intel's next-gen processor architecture, 'Nehalem', is running behind schedule - or will be seen as such when the first of the chips ship - a US market analyst has claimed.

According to American Technology Research's Doug Freedman, "Intel's Nehalem server parts will initially launch in single-socket only". That, he told investors, "will be viewed by customers... as a delayed ramp of the company's second-generation 45nm server architecture".

Intel's single-socket Nehalem is 'Bloomfield'; the part for multi-processor machines is 'Gainestown'. The chip giant has so far only said that Nehalem chips will ship in Q4, and has specified which particular implementations of the Nehalem architecture will debut first.

Still, Freedman's comment concerns customer expectations rather than precise shipping dates. Buyers want to get their hands on Nehalems for multi-socket machines, and if they don't get them in Q4, they'll be disappointed, he reckons.

Intel's most recent roadmap update showed Bloomfield on track for a Q4 introduction on the desktop. However, its successor, 'Lynnfield', was nudged back from H1 2009 to H2 that year.

All this is good news for AMD - if it can take advantage of its rival's revised timeline. ''We believe the Nehalem launch plan opens the door for AMD's 'Shanghai' server chip - the 45nm shrink of 'Barcelona' - in H2 2008/H1 2009, should AMD be able to execute to its present schedule,'' Freedman wrote.

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