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AMD refutes 'Kuma' chip cancellation claims

Company rebuts speculation that certain models of dual-core chip code-named Kuma have been canceled.

AMD says it is on track to deliver a dual-core chip code-named Kuma, refuting speculation that certain Kuma models have been canceled.

"The speculation is completely untrue," said AMD spokesman Jake Whitman. "We're still on track to launch a dual-core--code-named Kuma--part in the second half of '08. It will be 65 nanometers, still be based on the Star's core. So, that's coming."

He also disassociated Kuma from Phenom, as speculated in some articles. "We have never said anywhere along the lines that Kuma was somehow associated with Phenom," he said. "Dual-core Phenom? I've never seen that on a road map."

Phenom is a line of desktop processors available in triple-core and quad-core versions.

AMD did state when the Phenom line was launched that there could be a dual-core variant, Whitman said. But this concept has never been realized and Phenom has never been branded as part of Kuma. "We have never branded that code name."

Probably more germane to AMD's future plans was a report issued Wednesday by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) that projected 2008 chip sales growth of 4.3 percent in 2008, revising down the previous growth forecast of 7.7 percent. This news caused both AMD and Intel shares to fall on Wednesday.

"Continued strong competition in memory chips--principally DRAMs--will result in slower growth in 2008," the SIA said.

However, processors--Intel's and AMD's main business--should still see healthy growth. "Microprocessors, which account for roughly 14 percent of total semiconductor revenues, have experienced healthy unit sales growth to date in 2008, and revenues are expected to grow over 10 percent per year for the next two years," the SIA said.

"Sales of personal computers, the largest single market for semiconductors, continue to be strong, especially in emerging markets," the report said.