AMD delays more CPU rollouts, this time quad-core Phenoms

A further indication of trouble for AMD in its effort to catch up with Intel in the quad-core field, as the company has delayed rollouts of its higher-speed enthusiast level quad-core CPUs for at least one quarter.

In a statement to BetaNews this afternoon that makes it sound as though its customers actually asked for this, AMD confirmed it is delaying shipments of more of its latest Barcelona architecture CPUs: specifically its consumer-grade quad-core Phenom processors.

Originally anticipated for launch this quarter, the new Phenoms are being shifted to Q2, with rollouts of new and unusual triple-core Phenoms this quarter as stand-ins.

"We expect to launch our AMD Phenom triple-core product in Q1 and our AMD Phenom 9700 and 9900 quad core processors in Q2 2008," an AMD spokesperson told BetaNews today. Without blaming any kind of production problems or yield shortages for the delay, the company is now saying that the demand for energy-efficient processors is so high that it mandates more of the company's attention and effort being paid to "greener" products.

Last month, AMD made the embarrassing decision to delay its quad-core Opteron rollouts first after denying that any such delay would be in the works, and then later admitting an erratum had been discovered that caused inaccuracies at very high processing volumes.

The following week during an analysts' conference, AMD executives took the highly unusual step of arguing that the delay wouldn't make too much of a dent in the business because the majority of buyers don't want top performance anyway.

"The decision to move production for the AMD Phenom 9700 and 9900 to Q2 was due to a shift in strategy to launch an energy-efficient AMD Phenom quad-core processor, the AMD Phenom 9100e quad-core processor, in Q1 2008 to address customer and industry demand," the spokesperson continued today, echoing the sentiments expressed during last month's conference. "The volume of the quad-core market is in mainstream, and will be served through the AMD Phenom 9500 and 9600 quad-core products."

A Tom's Hardware test of the 2.2 GHz 9500 and 2.3 GHz 9600 models last November found the 9600 to be just over 13% slower on average than Intel's quad-core Q6600 model that targets the same market. It's also just over 13% less expensive than the Intel model. The 9700 is supposed to crank up the clock speed to 2.4 GHz, and the 9900 to 2.6 GHz.

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