8.20.2007

AMD CEO Confirms Barcelona is DOA

This should remove any doubt about what to expect when Barcelona launches. When asked whether Barcelona will change the competitive landscape, Hector replied: "I expect us to regain position in the server market because Barcelona is a very strong product. It won't have the huge impact Opteron had. If you remember at the time Intel had no new product (to compete against it). So it will be more challenging.

If you want to know what he just said, it means "NO" in corporate double speak. If you try and turn his answer around, you'll find the true message: Intel currently has a product that we cannot beat and we expect Barcelona to regain the unspecified position in the server market - that same awful position we are at the moment.

When asked what was (is) the problem with Barcelona, Hector replies by saying that "the problem with Barcelona is that it is late". Trying to control themselves from uttering the word "DUH!", Mercury News continued and asked what specifically caused the delay. Hector responds by saying that they keep running into "gotchas". That's "technical glitches" according to Mercury News just in case you got lost in the technical jargon. Personally, companies that keeps bumping into 'gotchas' while calling them 'gotchas' doesn't last very long in my portfolio.

Of course Hector bragged about how they were the first to try the complicated native quad core approach. Not even with Intel's vast resources did they consider doing such a monumental task, according to Hector. I'm surprised he never thought that it was probably the same reason why jet packs or that solar powered flashlight never really took off. Maybe because it's a stupid idea. After clearly demonstrating such a failed strategy, I'm not sure it's pretty clever to criticize your competition who'd already shipped 1.2 million quad-cores and completely destroyed your business.

Surprisingly, Hector also claimed how Intel continued its illegal practices in Japan even after the JFTC settlement. He went on and said "When a customer tells you they have this plan with you and says, "I like it, I love it, we're going to do it," and 90 days later they change their minds...". I find AMD's claim to be very odd not only because they are assuming that people don't change their minds for a better deal but also because I do the same thing to annoying sales people just to get them off my back while trying to sell me something useless. Is AMD arrogant enough to think that their competition doesn't have anything better to offer and can actually change peoples minds?

You can read more here: Mercury News

15 comments:

SPARKS said...

For those with short memories.

http://news.com.com/
AMD+Go+to+Barcelona+over+Clovertown/2100-1006_3-6152645.html

SPARKS

Anonymous said...

This ought to do it...

http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=430&pgno=0

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...automated AMD response:

If product = good, talk about product.

If product = not good, claim Intel monopoly!

Kind of curious how despite these "gotchas", not too long ago was it not Ruiz (or Richards?) who claimed Barcelona was 'on track'

SPARKS said...

Six weeks per “gotchya”,
Divided by “six month-plus”,
Equals 4, “gotchya’s”.

So, at least 4 revisions before they capitulated to 1.9 a GHz launch?

Therefore, “six plus months” ago, as this is mid August, the first running sample was in March, conservatively, February? They were crowing about this thing well into last year, not to mention 40% faster that INTC. Obviously, partners such as Cray (among others) were told the same thing.

Further, George Ou’s article,

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=697

And Charlie D’s article,

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=41788

seem to suggest 2 plausible theories of how and why AMD dropped the ball.
The fact is, no matter how you slice this thing up, you still have baloney.

What’s my point? I can’t believe this marketing; Power Point presentations hype has gotten this far, for so long. And still, there those out there are saying ‘when it scales to 3 GHz’ it will do this, that or the other thing, without one damned benchmark! (Ok, PovRay at 1.6 GHz, big deal. There’s a fountain of information!)

Many of the guys on this site KNEW SOI was busted. I believed them then, as I do now.
AMD says they have (hand picked) 3 GHz parts. I don’t believe them.
What I do believe, however, is the entire financial community, the Tech Press, and any agenda motivated group, doesn’t want to admit to one single fact. How wrong they’ve been about AMD.

They are covering their professional asses, their considerable investments READ: WAGERS, and their professional reputations. AMD has entire industries reeling and backtracking. Even in the face of selling their own backyard, people are still buying into the hype. The Scrappy Little Company, my ass, more like charlatans and liars.

SPARKS

InTheKnow said...

Anonymous, that techarp article was really amusing. I'd be hard pressed to find as many correct statements as incorrect ones.

For starters, Intel's tick-tock is a 2 year cycle, not 4-5 as the article states.

And then there is the F32 production rumor. To the best of my knowledge, F32 hasn't even finished process qualification yet. D1D in Oregon is the only facility currently producing 45nm chips.

And the speculation that Intel is waiting to crash AMDs party is equally laughable. If Intel could launch 45nm today they would. You don't make that kind of investment and then sit on it until you think you need it. You take the return on the investment as soon as you can.

32nm is already in development, so if they were to wait for AMD to come up with a competitive product, they might just end up skipping the 45nm node altogether. :)

Anonymous said...

http://www.techreport.com/onearticle.x/13062

"the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ processor is making its official debut on these shores today. However, you won't see a review here at TR, nor presumably at most other places around the web. AMD has elected not to supply samples of this product to reviewers, and, well, you can probably guess why that might be. Why trigger a wave of reviews showing the competition to be faster?"

"Amusingly, the X2 6400+ is labeled the "Black Edition" and comes in a fittingly black box, presumably to help it sneak past unsuspecting reviewers who might otherwise snag one and subject it to benchmarks."

I see it now... Barcelona "Black Edition"

(Reviews? Bah, who needs them? trust us it will be 40% better!)

Anonymous said...

"So, at least 4 revisions before they capitulated to 1.9 a GHz launch?

Therefore, “six plus months” ago, as this is mid August, the first running sample was in March, conservatively, February? They were crowing about this thing well into last year, not to mention 40% faster that INTC. Obviously, partners such as Cray (among others) were told the same thing."

Come on sparks you're sharper than this...

When they demo'd Barcelona on "task manager" it was around when they were securing the MS loan (and flooding the channel in Q4 to make their market share #'s look good for the bankers).

The next set of gotchas were during the 2.2Bil convertible note offering followed by the 1.5Bil convertible note... would've been a bit harder to convince institutions to buy these notes if they said 'oh by the way we have some gotchas and our next gen product which will save the company is a bit behind schedule and significantly lower in clockspeed than expected.'

Gotta secure the money first before you underdeliver!

Roborat, Ph.D said...

are you saying that the "gotcha's" were for the bankers and the lenders after they handed over the money to AMD? lol.

Morgan Stanley was very clever then. imagine earning millions in a year because AMD defaulted.

SPARKS said...

"Come on sparks you're sharper than this..."


"imagine earning millions in a year because AMD defaulted?"

Do ya see what I'm saying, no matter how you slice it---! God, this whole AMD fiasco is like some cheap daytime soap opera. We may never get what the really happened, even if they do go belly-up.


SPARKS

Axel said...

Another sign that Barcelona is DOA: Rumors that Henri Richard will resign.

Anonymous said...

"are you saying that the "gotcha's" were for the bankers and the lenders after they handed over the money to AMD? lol."

All those convertible notes 3.7Bil total were sold to private institutions after the Dec Barcelona demo (task manager) and Barcelona was the second coming of CPU technology. There was no mention of gotchas/depressed clockspeed when the first 2.2Bil note was done. Would the notes have been easier or harder to sell if folks new Barcelona was behind and running below clockspeed expectations?

Not completely implausible, no?

AMD did play around with the Q1 forecasts around the time of the MS loan, remember? Oh, loan secured - by the way our Q1 earnings/revenue are going to miss BIG TIME!

MS is very sharp - look at the hooks they put in that loan which forced AMD's hand (regarding new revenue raising being forced to pay back loan). MS made dam sure that when the music stopped they were first in line to get a chair.

SPARKS said...

Now Richards resigns, two days before the Barcelona launch. I guess they needed a scapegoat (comes from the bible, Doc :) ), they're throwing out a fat one for the premere/slaughter!

Oh this helps, beat up the saleman!?!?

But, I recall what my old Sicilian Grandma use to say. "I tella you some a ting, the fish, it stinka from the head. If the head a the fish a stink, the wholea fish a rotten!"


SPARKS

Anonymous said...

Kind of humorous - now that the news of Richards is leaving/being pushed out, the AMD fanboys are already throwing him under the bus.

It apparently is his fault that AMD's prices/ASP are much lower than Intel's (look at some of the comments on Dementia's blog) Apparently Ruiz, as CEO, has no accountability in this area? Apparently the capital planning (or lack there of) is also Richards fault? Apparently the ability to only get a 2.0GHz out the door and late is also Richards fault? The timing of the ATI acquisition was also probably his fault?

While Richards may not have been the best marketing guy around - look at the complete lack of a coherent AMD marketing strategy other than "INTEL BAD, AMD GOOD"(grunt, grunt), AMD fans are really drinking the coolaid when they think this will be the solution to AMD's ASP/pricing and profitability issues.

It is rather obvious that Ruiz's market share at all cost, not only had a temporary cost (which I assume he expected) but a permanent one (short term losses turned into loans/convertibles which will now weigh on the balance sheets and capex spending for years to come).

Ruiz thought (and even stated) that if AMD can get to 30% market share, the "monopoly" is broken. He probably also thought that after undercutting the prices of ALL his products and getting in bed with Dell (and what one could only assume is ridiculously low OEM pricing), that AMD would quickly return to profitability when K10 came around and the ASP's would go back up.

Now they have an initial new product which, at best, seems like it will be competitive/even with it's competitor and AMD is now stuck at the prices where it cut to. The next gambit will come with fusion, but I can't see that raising ASP's either.

Ruiz is the one who should be resigning. He gambled on market share, lost, and then was too proud to admit/see it and just kept cutting prices after it was clear that it was a failed strategy. AMD then tries to take the high road stating it is ending the price war (which THEY were responsible for) and proceeded to cut prices again not more than 2 weeks later.

Anonymous said...

They say K19 was the widowmaker, but now I'm starting to think it's K10...

Anonymous said...

Fabtech: AMD owns up!
The San Jose Mercury News got the scoop of the week when it reported that Hector Ruiz had said in an interview with the newspaper that AMD had indeed experienced delays with the tape-out of its native quad-core Barcelona MPU.

Like some others, we had been highlighting that Barcelona was late, but AMD continued to insist that it was on-track due to the use of some very vague release times.


Who's head will roll next?

http://www.fabtech.org/content/view/3310/