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AMD Athlon 64s delayed until September

Announces launch dates for Barton, Opteron
Fri Jan 31 2003, 10:42
AMD WILL say today that it won't launch the Athlon 64 (Clawhammer) until September this year.

The firm also will confirm the release of a Barton XP at 3000+ on the 10th of February - another Barton at 3200+ will appear in the middle of the year.

But AMD will introduce its Opteron (Sledgehammer) chips at speeds of 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz in New York on April 22nd.

AMD, officially, will say that the Athlon 64 is not out until September because it is waiting for the introduction of a suitable 64-bit operating system. This, The INQUIRER believes, is the Windows 64 bit version specifically for the Athlon64.

If it is Microsoft that is behind the latest delays - they were supposed to be available in December last year - some will wonder whether that release will be, err, released on time too.

Even if AMD launches the Clawhammer in September, there are still logistical problems to solve - getting the chips into the distributor, system builder and into the retail channels on time.

The Opteron doesn't need to wait for Microsoft because there are suitable -- read Linux 64-bit operating systems -- ready to roll for the server based chip.

The Opteron will be a little under half the size of the Intel Itanium chip, which comes in at 400mm 2 , and it will push this fact like crazy at the launch.

Despite Intel's positioning, AMD still feels that the Opteron server chips have a fair chance of cracking the Itanium's still rather precarious hold on the X86 64-bit processing market.

Although the Itanic can run X86 code, AMD maintains it's not really an X86 chip at all, because of the extended instruction set it uses, based on the EPIC architecture.

The Athlon64 news will come as a blow to those who have waited and waited for the launch of the Clawhammer.

But, as Jerry Sanders III once said: "Together with Intel and Microsoft we are the Holy Trinity". And it cannot pre-announce the Windows OS for Microsoft.

The official line from AMD is that the Barton 3000+ and future speed grades, will give it sufficient clock speed and performance gains to compete with Intel's Pentium 4 offerings between now and September of this year. µ

See Also
AMD Athlon 64 is delayed - can Barton keep up? Analysis by Jack "the terrier" Russell
INQUIRER Hammer coverage


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