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AMD triple core is for business, Puma whispers

AMD's triple-core processor is initially for business customers, quad core is on track, and Puma is a topic on Wall Street.

AMD Q1, Q2 2008 roadmap
AMD Q1, Q2 2008 roadmap AMD

Roadmaps are made to be changed. And in the case of AMD quad-core processor timelines, quite often. That said, they provide a clear blueprint to work from. The most recent AMD roadmap (dated late January) indicates that triple-core processors are coming fairly soon (March at the latest) and that they are initially targeted at commercial users.

On the chart, "triple-core" is clumped with the "Hardcastle" and "Perseus" business platforms, meaning that triple-core is initially a commercial offering--and AMD confirms this.

The chart also shows quad-core Opteron, a.k.a. "Barcelona," production beginning in the first quarter. (Just about now?) An AMD spokesperson confirmed that the B3 version of the processor (that fixes the so-called "TLB" bug) is on track. Barcelona general availability begins in the middle of the second quarter with computer makers delivering systems shortly after that.

And what about faster Phenoms? The quad-core 9700 (2.4 GHz) and 9900 (2.6 GHz) Phenoms come in the middle of the second quarter. Reports have indicated these may be rebranded to the 9750 and 9950, respectively, but the final branding scheme is still being worked out, according to the AMD spokesperson.

Puma: There were rumors swirling Wednesday about a Puma bug. Puma is a mobile platform based on AMD's "Griffin" processor and mobile RS780 chipset. Semiconductor analyst Doug Freedman of American Technology Research released a report Wednesday suggesting a bug may exist. "Our channel checks suggest AMD's Puma platform for notebooks may have a technical glitch (but) AMD could have a fix in the works that saves the launch," according to Freedman, whose report was quoted at length at EDN. Freedman believes it will affect the launch of Puma.

An AMD spokesperson said today that there is "nothing to the rumor." He added: "We continue to track to a Q2 launch on Puma. We expect to double the number of notebook design wins we had when we introduced Turion X2--around 100 total for Puma."