As part of the transition plan to new technologies and product families, Advanced Micro Devices will stop taking orders on its Athlon II, Phenom II and Sempron central processing units (CPUs) in the late fourth quarter of this year. Essentially, this will kill the popular microprocessor brands as well as existing platforms.
As reported earlier this year, AMD has very aggressive transition plan to new desktop families of products - A-series accelerated processing units and FX-series central processing units - made using 32nm silicon-on-insulator process technology from current-gen chips in AM3 form-factor made using older process technologies and based on older micro-architectures. As a result of such transition, AMD chips will no longer have product brand-names (Athlon, Phenom, Sempron, etc.), but will carry A-series, E-series or FX-series product names.
AMD recently notified its partners that the last orders on Athlon II, Phenom II and Sempron central processing units are due in Q4 2011. After that the company will not accept any new orders on those chips and will only conduct final shipments for a quarter or two. Effectively, the processors will gradually disappear from the market.
According to estimates from people with knowledge of AMD's plans, the share of CPUs in AM3 form-factor (Athlon, Phenom, Sempron) among the company's desktop production/shipments in Q3 2011 will be around 40% to 45%. However, the share of AM3 chips is projected to drop to roughly 15% in Q4 2011, whereas the share of FM1 (Llano) will likely increase to 45% - 50%, while the shares of AM3+ (FX-series) and FT1 (E-series) chips will be around 20% each. In the first quarter of next year Llano (FT1) will account for 60% of AMD's production, while the shares of FX-series and E-series will remain similar to the fourth quarter of this year.
Each of AMD's CPU brand-names has its own history and reputation. For example, Athlon was AMD's first product line ever that could beat Intel Corp.'s offerings on the market of high-end microprocessors. AMD Phenom proved to be affordable, but powerful chips. AMD Sempron has been AMD's answer to Intel's Celeron. Interestingly, but once the CPU brands disappear from desktop and laptop markets, the only branded offering from AMD will be server-class AMD Opteron chip.
AMD did not comment on the news-story.