AMD's FX "Zambezi" to Be 60 to 90 Days Late

"Bulldozer" Microprocessors. Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday officially confirmed the postponement of its highly-anticipated FX-series central processing units. The code-named Zambezi chips based on the Bulldozer micro-architecture will be 60 to 90 days late and will emerge in August or September, according to the company.

During the company's press conference dedicated to the launch of AMD 9-series core-logic sets, AMD announced that its long-awaited FX-series microprocessors will be available within the next 60 to 90 days from now, which points to August or September. Mainboards based on the new AMD 9-series chipsets with AM3+ socket will support both existing high-performance multi-core Phenom II microprocessors as well as AMD FX-series chips with up to eight cores.
Early this week it turned out that AMD had advised its partners that its next-generation high-performance desktop chips would only be launched in September. Apparently, the currently available B0 and B1 stepping Zambezi/Bulldozer processors can function at around 2.50GHz/3.50GHz (nominal/turbo) clock-speeds and at such frequencies they cannot deliver performance AMD considers competitive, a person with knowledge of the situation said on Monday.

As a consequence, AMD needs to tune the design of the processor and create B2 stepping of the chip with better clock-speed potential amid similar thermal design power (TDP), which will take several months to complete.

Although sales of high-performance microprocessors do not peak in Summer, production ramp usually takes time and therefore launch in September means that the company will only be able to ship "Bulldozers" in high volume sometimes late in 2011 or even in 2012. This will slowdown revenue growth of the chip developer and will also hit its reputation, as this is by far not the first or second delay of Bulldozer in general and Zambezi in particular. AMD itself believed that its multi-core Zambezi FX CPUs will allow it to compete head-to-head with Intel's high-end Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" processors that can sell for as much as $300 and more per chip.

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