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Only yesterday we reported the latest trends in AMD’s “unofficial” roadmap that had been noted by some of our sources recently (see the issue here), but already today we learnt an official word from the company about the upcoming changes in their plans. According to the most-recent data, we can point out that the Opteron CPUs intended for servers and workstations will be introduced on April 22 in New York City. AMD plans to follow up with the introduction of the AMD Athlon64 processor for the desktop and mobile markets in September 2003. Therefore, we can call the Athlon64 chip as the “longest journey” from the labs to the desktops because initially it was planned that the processors will make their appearance in Spring 2002, not Fall 2003.

According to the official roadmap, the Athlon XP “Barton” CPU for different market segments will come in the first half of 2003 and will be the main AMD’s offering through Summer 2003. The first microprocessor from the Barton family, the Athlon XP 3000+, is to be introduced on the 10th of February. Later this year AMD will also launch Athlon XP 3200+ CPU.

The result of recent changes in AMD’s roadmap influences the whole CPU Battle 2003 outcome. Intel will continue to dominate in the segment of high-performance processors for desktops from April to September with their Pentium 4 processors with 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and the Hyper-Threading technology, while afterwards AMD will try to catch the initiative with the Athlon64 MPU. It will not be easy, as Intel plans to roll out its Pentium 4 “Prescott” chip in Fall and the latter is said to be at least as powerful as the Athlon64 is.

x86-64 processors made using 90nm fabrication process are still expected to come in the first half of 2004, however, due to the recent changes in AMD’s plans, I do not think they will launch the code-named San Diego and Odessa chips in the first quarter, but some-time in the Q2. There is a slight possibility that AMD will try to start mass-producing the Opteron “Athens” CPUs in the Q1 2004 in order to strengthen their positions on the server market.

Note that no core-speeds of the x86-64 newcomers have been announced so far, while the roadmap is still subject to change.


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