AMD May Delay Launch of FX-Series "Zambezi" Microprocessors

AMD's Bulldozer May Only Due in September - Slides

by Anton Shilov
05/29/2011 | 05:47 PM

Advanced Micro Devices may further delay release of its highly-anticipated FX-series microprocessors code-named Zambezi that are based on the Bulldozer micro-architecture, according to slides published by a web-site. Apparently, AMD may only launch its next-generation chips for desktops only in September, if the slides are genuine.


Two images, which resemble those from AMD's roadmaps, indicate that the FX-series "Zambezi" central processing units (CPUs) will only be production ready in August and will be launched on Septembers. The images, which were published by web-site, also point to new model numbers for the chips: FX-8150, FX-8100, FX-6100 and FX-4100, which may indicate that the company intends to alter previously set specifications of the chips.

Earlier it was believed that AMD would launch its FX-series of chips in June, 2011, at the E3 trade-show. It was also reported that the highest-performing eight-core offering would cost $320, which is in line with the top-of-the-range Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" CPU.

The potential delay of Zambezi to September will be another postponement in a long row of Bulldozer set-backs. Initially, the company wanted to make Bulldozer micro-architecture powered chips using 45nm SOI process technology, but it was not economically feasible. As a result, AMD had to stick to 32nm SOI fabrication process, which turned out to be problematic for its partner Globalfoundries. The latter even had to reconsider its agreements with AMD under which the latter pays only for working dies, not wafers that contain potentially faulty chips.

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 Sunnyvale, California-based chip designer.

AMD Orochi design is the company's next-generation processor for high-end desktop (Zambezi) and server (Valencia) markets. The chip will feature up to eight processing engines, but since it is based on Bulldozer micro-architecture, those cores will be packed into four modules. Every module which will have two independent integer cores (that will share fetch, decode and L2 functionality) with dedicated schedulers, one "Flex FP" floating point unit with two 128-bit FMAC pipes with one FP scheduler. The chip will have shared 8MB L3 cache, new dual-channel DDR3 memory controller and will use HyperTransport 3.1 bus. The Zambezi chips will use new AM3+ form-factor and will require brand new platforms.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.