AMD reports small loss despite record $1.65 billion revenue

By on July 16, 2010, 10:39 AM
AMD's profitable streak came to an end after two quarters with a relatively small net loss during Q2 of fiscal 2010. Despite reporting record revenue of $1.65 billion, up a massive 40% from $1.18 billion a year earlier, the chip designer saw a net loss of $43 million or $.06 per share. Results were still better than expected, according to industry analysts, and excluding a $120 million equity loss related to its manufacturing spinoff GlobalFoundries, AMD actually saw a profit on a non-GAAP basis of $83 million.

AMD's computing solutions segment increased revenue 4% from last quarter, and 31% over 2009's second quarter. The gains in this segment stem from record shipments of notebook microprocessor and chipset units. Moreover the company really excelled in the graphics business, were it saw revenue grow 8% sequentially and 87% over the year ago quarter, driven by the success of its Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards.

Speaking of future plans, AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said the company expects to launch their second generation DX11 parts before the end of the year. In this timeframe AMD will also launch the first chips based on the Fusion architecture, dubbed Ontario, featuring two Bobcat x86 cores alongside a DirectX 11 graphics core on the same package. Ontario will be aimed at netbooks, while a second Fusion chip for consumer laptops and desktops will debut sometime next year as Llano.




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Guest said:

"company expects to launch their second generation DX11 parts before the end of the year", what does than means?.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

The follow-up to the Radeon HD 5000 series (which were the company's first DirectX 11 cards).

PaulWuzHere PaulWuzHere said:

OoOoOo. AMD show us what you can do. I'm very exited to see the fusion chips and if these next gen DX11 cards are as amazing as the 5000 were... we are in for a treat.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

It's nice to see AMD not floundering about, but I'd prefer to see them make Intel sweat again. Intel processors have completely stagnated since the i7 was introduced and their chips made a year ago still cost the same.

teklord teklord said:

Posting record sales and still having a loss in the books for the quarter smacks of poor business practices to me. Sounds like AMD has taken cues from the government as to how to manage a budget. Hope they don't change their business model of superior price/performance ratio as that is where they really have Intel by the balls.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Posting record sales and still having a loss in the books for the quarter smacks of poor business practices to me.

Hey Tek,

remember this is the paper they are showing. They have ATI,Global Foundries, and reorganization that they are dealing with. Given the situation as it is, I would bet they are running a lean and mean ship at this point to have made it through and gain market share since 2008.

teklord teklord said:

That should be factored in their business practices. ATI is probably a very big reason for that gain with the success of the HD 5xxx series over nVidia latest series. Like they said in my college accounting class, the debit column has to balance with the credit column, it's that simple.

I don't want AMD to go anywhere though, believe me. I am still waiting for their 95W Phenom II X4 955 that is compatible with this mobo I have. With no competition from AMD, Intel could raise prices on their CPU's as well.

Guest said:

I dont get it, it is the follow up to the 5000 series, so the 6000 series or a 5890 gpu? (Sorry for the english).

mailpup mailpup said:

Well, a 5890 would still be part of the 5000 series so you can presume the follow up series would be a 6000 or some other number series. Probably 6000 though.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

@teklord

Agreed. The ATI division at the moment is AMD's life preserver. I would have expected a better result since the mainstream (volume sales) GPU market has seen them completely dominate the marketplace for two quarters. Obviously they need to work on their HPC and OEM contracts (nvidia strongholds), since I doubt that AMD will see such growth and marketshare again if GF104 is any indication.

Good to see AMD spending more on R&D...but a little a little worrying that mention of Bulldozer seems conspicuously absent from the transcript of the conference call.

Intel's just announced record profit, helped by server processors seems to be confirmed by the slow-out-of-the-gate Magny Cours Opteron server CPU uptake also.

@Guest (post #8)

Next next iteration of AMD graphics will be the HD 6000 series. The 5890 would have been reserved for a tweaked 5870 (raised core/shader/memory clocks)...but since it hasn't been released by now, then the likelihood is that the current lineup will stand until the HD 6000 series launches

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

That should be factored in their business practices. ATI is probably a very big reason for that gain with the success of the HD 5xxx series over nVidia latest series. Like they said in my college accounting class, the debit column has to balance with the credit column, it's that simple.

you missed my point. I followed the AMD (decent) until the low in 08, and the change of leadership, restructure etc. they were in a big hole. I was surmising that in order to still be here, they have to be running a tight ship. of course they cant run in the red for long, but they also have to invest and reorganize. it may be a while before they are consistently profitable. You may not be able to glean much from this report. Purchasing ATI was also part of the plan, and lots of supposed 'really smart folk' were saying they would be a memory by now. They have managed to stay competitive on the lower mid end of things, however they have taken the k-10 as far as they can. with 'Bulldozer' seemingly disappearing from the radar has indicated that there is a serious problem. They need a new architecture to become competitive as well as work on their HPC and OEM contracts as DBZ said. They may have no option because of that investment but to have a few more reports like this. weather it works or not nobody knows, but you cant tell if their current business practices are being taken from the government budget plan from this.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Indeed.

From my reading of the results and conference call, it would seem that the CPU and GPU divisions made a profit. If it were not for the $120m accrued by GloFo and debt servicing the overall picture doesn't look too bad.

AMD's main weakness (as I see it) is that they don't know squat about marketing and are carrying a large debt burden, whereas Intel and nvidia are debt free and are very successful in getting their products front-and-centre.

The ATI acquisition at the time (from my recollection) was that the buy was too big and AMD paid too much. Probably correct at the time and still valid to a point now, but as you say, without ATI I think AMD would have had been either broken up or heavily restructured away from it's present form- neither of which would be preferable to what they have now, either from a corporate or consumer viewpoint.

What remains to be seen is if this prioritization towards Ontario and the mobile sector is a corporate strategy to go head-to-head with Intel, or whether it has been forced upon them by delays in Llano and Bulldozer- I notice Dirk Meyer said that Bulldozer was still on track for H2 2011, a timeframe that seems to have slipped a quarter or two. Bulldozer late, maybe not a huge deal, but Llano (The Future is Fusion!) slipping could have some interesting consequences, since that is the mainstream (volume) sector and likely to be the big revenue earner.

Guest said:

Accounting profit means very little in business, most companies try to make it look the they have made a loss because they don't want to pay the taxes (unless they are trying to mislead investors... ie not writing off bad debts). Look at the cash flow statement... it's not as easily manipulated by management, and truly represents the company's ability to continue. Accounting profits don't pay the bills, CASH does.

Guest said:

"It's nice to see AMD not floundering about, but I'd prefer to see them make Intel sweat again. Intel processors have completely stagnated since the i7 was introduced and their chips made a year ago still cost the same."

Agreed they're floundering less and their graphics department is kickass, but their staggering inability to compete on the CPU front is hurting the market. Intel are resting on their laurels now as AMD still can't beat the near 2 year old X58 i7 line up and thats just embarrasing. Bulldozer (after numerous delays already) is going to be another 12 months and will in all probability barely beat out Intel's (by then) near 3 old X58 platform.

I think all the AMD fanboi's just have to accept that AMD will never beat Intel again, they may compete on prive/performance but the company has made too many bad decisions, bleed too many funds and botched too many launches, they are condemmed to being the Pepsi to Intel's Coke.

teklord teklord said:

I was surmising that in order to still be here, they have to be running a tight ship...

It is safe to assume they are running a competent ship but not necessarily a tight one, as evidenced by their still being in operation. Of course, their definition of a profitable quarter may not be yours and my definition of a profitable quarter either. Similar to how the government defines budget cuts as not having increased spending from last year by a measurable amount as opposed to actually decreasing spending.

They are pwning in price/performance ratio. For example, the Q9650 is outperformed by the Phenom II X4 965, at about half the price. There is still a lot of fight in them, even if the fiscal records are in the red. I know they are fully aware of Intel's innovation in CPU technology. We may see AMD pull a rabbit out of the hat one day.

Intel isn't pushing the i7 line forward, aside from the heptacore that came out recently because the i7 line is already a significant step forward from anything AMD is doing. An i7 is more than enough power for the individual user at this time, so Intel is resting on their laurels somewhat until further notice. AMD hasn't produced anything powerful enough to compete directly with the i7 line, so Intel is free to set prices at their discretion. If it wasn't for no 2 AMD, we would all be paying higher prices for CPUs from the monopoly that would be Intel.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

aside from the heptacore that came out recently

heptacore = 7....one core to rule them (other six) all?

/apologies to Peter Jackson

//I know, it's pedantic.

so Intel is resting on their laurels somewhat until further notice

Hardly, I would have thought...

1. New instruction sets

ii. A proven high yield and very successful transition at 32nm (as was 45nm)...something [link] at the first time of asking.

C. A roadmap in place for both 22nm and 16nm

§. A history of execution on time - least with CPU's.

The only area's Intel seem to be in need of further motivation would probably be a competitor in the ARM RISC category and an Ontario/Llano ULV competitor, although Atom + nvidia ION2 would seem to be the instant fix for the latter, a few hatchets probably need to buried for that one to come to fruition.

Intel processors have completely stagnated since the i7 was introduced .

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Dirk Meyerrrrrrrrrrr.

So if i7 is stagnating...what precisely is K10 ?, bearing in mind that AMD's next line of CPU's (or APU's) are still based on the same arch.

...and their chips made a year ago still cost the same.

Probably only if you live in Turkmenistan. The most notable reductions are probably this and this. But most people who buy system components would be aware that prices fall in CPU's (as with other hardware) as inventory builds and the initial buying spree of "new toys" abates.

teklord teklord said:

I meant hexacore

I know Intel is coming out with new and improved CPU chips, I read about them all the time, including this site. I was refering to the interim that is now between the major innovations.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Ahhhh, I see...but wouldn't too much innovation would most likely result in a deluge of socket changes? I see some people are rather sensitive to that.

Intel actually publish their specification updates (steppings) -fine tuning and error reduction for their CPU's.

An example here for Core i7 9xx (small pdf)

teklord teklord said:

When I'm refering to CPU innovations, it can be things like die shrinks, frequency increases, additional cores being added, etc.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

..but wouldn't too much innovation would most likely result in a deluge of socket changes? I see some people are rather sensitive to that.

I really don't understand the kvetching about Intel socket changes. take 775 (2004) for example. It runs from pentuim 4 - core 2 Quad,(and the Xeon) pretty nice range I'd say. if AMD hadn't been milking the k-10 for 3 gens, and "innovated more" we would have the AM2,AM3,AM4 and AM5 in rapid succession. An occasional socket change can, and should be expected for innovation I think. It actually struck me odd while ordering my new components the other day that I could have anything from a Athlon 64 to a Phenom II x6 in my current board, something performance wise has to give with all that compatibility ( where is triple channel???) I would actually be excited to see a new socket from AMD.

and there has been what? 3 sockets for desktops from intel since 2004?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

where is triple channel???

No triple channel for you. From my understanding Bulldozer is still dual-channel...DDR3-1866 though. How much influence memory bandwidth and density plays in real world system performance should be answered once 6-8 core CPU's regularly appear in the desktop arena and CPU's start taxing the available bandwidth on offer.

An 8 core Bulldozer using dual-channel DDR3-1866+ vs an 8 core Sandy Bridge B2 using quad-channel DDR3-1600+ could be an interesting comparison.

Guest said:

@dividebyzero

"No triple channel for you. From my understanding Bulldozer is still dual-channel...DDR3-1866 though."

How would that compare with say tri channel DDR3-1333? Im a bit of a noob when it comes to memory bandwith.

"How much influence memory bandwidth and density plays in real world system performance should be answered once 6-8 core CPU's regularly appear in the desktop arena and CPU's start taxing the available bandwidth on offer."

I remember seeing a review lately (can't remember exactly where) which indicated that the phenom 2 X4's (let alone the X6's) have already tapped the available bandwith with dual channel DDR3-1333. If that is correct wouldn't a 6-8 core bulldozer need a little more than dual channel even if it is 1866? Perhaps only the "zambezi" quads etc use the dual channel DDR3 and AM3 platform (as a kind of thankyou to the people who bought AM3 boards, like the Phenom 2 940 was a thanks for people on AM2-AM2+) and subsequent releases would be on the AM3+ platform sporting tri or quad channel.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Dirk Meyerrrrrrrrrrr.

So if i7 is stagnating...what precisely is K10 ?, bearing in mind that AMD's next line of CPU's (or APU's) are still based on the same arch.

I think you've trolled me with this statement.

In what way does AMD's anything got to do with lack of advancement on the i7 platform? Maybe you misunderstood what I was saying. Basically, in the desktop market, Intel is a powerhouse that AMD isn't close to threatening. Because there is no pressure from AMD (or IBM or anyone), Intel has stopped competing and is milking the market. Hense, development of the i7 or X58 platform has "stagnated", ceased to change, failed to improve. At least to the degree at which things moved when AMD was a threat.

Probably only if you live in Turkmenistan. The most notable reductions are probably this and this. But most people who buy system components would be aware that prices fall in CPU's (as with other hardware) as inventory builds and the initial buying spree of "new toys" abates.

In August 2009, I purchased an i7 920 for $270 US from Newegg (cheapest at the time). Today that same processor now runs for... $295 US on Newegg.

And last time I checked Newegg isn't in Turkheadupass.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I think you've trolled me with this statement.

Really? .....Seems that the thread regards AMD's Q2 financial statement, your post was the first to mention Intel and invite comparison.

In what way does AMD's anything got to do with lack of advancement on the i7 platform? .

Ummm...maybe this... "It's nice to see AMD not floundering about, but I'd prefer to see them make Intel sweat again"

Maybe you misunderstood what I was saying. Basically, in the desktop market, Intel is a powerhouse that AMD isn't close to threatening.

No speaking engagements at the AMD Appreciation Society in your future then...

Because there is no pressure from AMD .

So ...the future isn't fusion ?

(or IBM or anyone).

I think you'll find that IBM market workstation systems using both Intel and AMD components, and Power7 isn't likely to find it's way into a desktop anytime soon...so you're better off just using the AMD v Intel analogy, however much you wanted to avoid it.

Intel has stopped competing and is milking the market. Hense, development of the i7 or X58 platform has "stagnated", ceased to change, failed to improve.

Answer me this...How would YOU have Intel improve the the X58 platform? -this isn't a rhetorical question. Would you say for instance...

Develop a short-lived ICH11R I/O controller to support native USB3 and SATA 6G ? (which in turn would require Intel to validate every USB3 device as compatible with it's I/O hub)

Native support past DDR3-1066, even though mainboard manufacturers already support DDR3-1600/1866/2000/2133 ?

So, in one corner we have a segment of users that want increased feature-sets, and in the opposite corner a vocal group of consumers having trouble coming to grips with multiple socket options and ever growing feature sets that go mostly untapped by the vast majority of users.

At least to the degree at which things moved when AMD was a threat.

The last time AMD was a creditable threat to Intel, the latter was fielding the Pentium 4 as it's desktop CPU.

In August 2009, I purchased an i7 920 for $270 US from Newegg (cheapest at the time). Today that same processor now runs for... $295 US on Newegg.

MSRP for the Core i7 920 (SKU BX80601920) at launch was $US284 Since the 920 is effectively EOL after being superceded by the (cheaper) 930 at the same pricing point, hardly surprising that stock is both low (and hence overpriced) at newegg. You'll find no end of cheaper prices for the same SKU at $250 and $250 for example. While Intel are far from being a philanthrophic organisation, cherry picking numbers (one of which is unsubstantiated) to suit an argument that can be easily rebutted probably doesn't advance your cause.

And last time I checked Newegg isn't in Turkheadupass.

A little disappointing to see a senior member (an "Ambassador" no less) of an international forum exhibit such xenophobic prejudice.

And just a parting thought -tho I still await your input regarding improving the X58 platform, hopefully sans your geographical "humour"

Intel's foundry/CPU process is by a large margin more efficient than AMD's. Intel, if they wanted to could quite easily price AMD into bankruptcy, but of course it is required that Intel cannot have a monopoly in the market, so AMD stay in the game. Entering a price war with AMD would gain Intel nothing since it has to have competition in the marketplace, and would result in either AMD receiving financial assistance/bailout/loan restructuring, sold off to another buyer who would likely invest further funds, or broken up (AMD server, desktop, ATI, GloFo stake, IP) and sold off to other entities....unknown entities, as opposed to the nice-guys-who-play-fair-but-don't-know-how-to-market that presently run it.

Why try for the whole nine yards when pounding it up the middle an inch at a time is more beneficial?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

@dividebyzero

"No triple channel for you. From my understanding Bulldozer is still dual-channel...DDR3-1866 though."

How would that compare with say tri channel DDR3-1333? Im a bit of a noob when it comes to memory bandwith.

"How much influence memory bandwidth and density plays in real world system performance should be answered once 6-8 core CPU's regularly appear in the desktop arena and CPU's start taxing the available bandwidth on offer.".

Let Techspot be your guide-it's representative. And you will notice why I prefaced my opinion with "real world" and not theoretical bandwidth throughput.

... Perhaps only the "zambezi" quads etc use the dual channel DDR3 and AM3 platform (as a kind of thankyou to the people who bought AM3 boards, like the Phenom 2 940 was a thanks for people on AM2-AM2+) and subsequent releases would be on the AM3+ platform sporting tri or quad channel.

If you've got any information, feel free to share with the rest of the class.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Hmm.. definitely gotta be trolling.

But I digress, like I said earlier, when I refer to Intel stagnating, I mean that they haven't had any pressure from AMD. To this you replied, "Not so dear chum! What say you of the K10?", to which I boggle, because the K10 is not an Intel product. In fact, the K10 isn't even a threat and only emboldens Intel's ego. However the article in question points at AMD in a positive light, to which I rejoice in the hope that they can again produce a product that might get Intel to push the envelope.

So ...the future isn't fusion ?

I think you'll find that IBM market workstation systems using both Intel and AMD components, and Power7 isn't likely to find it's way into a desktop anytime soon...so you're better off just using the AMD v Intel analogy, however much you wanted to avoid it.

What very odd statements indeed.

You suppose that I refer to IBM's workstation production (Lenovo actually) as a premise for lack of progress from Intel? Interesting. There was a time that IBM manufactured processors that were in direct competition with Intel, however they haven't been a threat to Intel's x86 line since Apple dropped them.

Answer me this...How would YOU have Intel improve the the X58 platform?

Well thats a tough one. It sure is, a regular chin grinder, this question right here.

Hmm... well I suppose that it might be a small bit of improvement if maybe they, oh I dunno, lowered the prices to compete against the competitions offerings? Cause the old K10 is really knocking socks off.

You see Mr. DividebyZero sir, I often post in regards to my personal experiences. Odd as that may be, I know that the 5 i7 systems I built, over the past year, all cost approximately the same and had approximately the same hardware. And my experiences have often shown that when competition is in the market, you can build a system 1 day for say $1000, then 2 months later build the same system for around $800. But here all these systems have been near identical and the price hasn't reduced. This is my qualm. The point I've been trying to make here and it seems over your head. Now if you really wanted me to, and I mean, if you really really wanted me to, I could send you a copy of a receipt for an i7 system I built in August 2009, and then another receipt for a system built in May 2010. You can say "its unsubstantiated" but my bank account sure could substantiate it.

Or we can gander and your fine links, like a price chart without years listed and an ambiguous "now" column, or a link about "Look price drop!" from less then a month ago, (thats how long since release?) or better yet, tigerdirect.com.

Anyhow, feel free to splice this response in quotes down to the letter to focus hard at missing the point yet again.

Oh, and FYI the "xenophobic prejudice" was actually an insult directed at you. How embarrassing that I'd need to spell that out.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Hmm..blah, blah, nothing directly related to the argument etc...>snip<...."How would YOU have Intel improve the X58 platform"

Well thats a tough one. It sure is, a regular chin grinder, this question right here.

Hmm... well I suppose that it might be a small bit of improvement if maybe they, oh I dunno, lowered the prices to compete against the competitions offerings? Cause the old K10 is really knocking socks off"

...Intel is a powerhouse that AMD isn't close to threatening. Because there is no pressure from AMD .

Soooooo, just a recap. Intel should lower prices to compete against AMD because AMD is providing no real competition.......gotcha..... The Oxford Union probably won't be sending out the invite anytime soon.

So, other than lowering prices, you can't think of a thing that Intel could do that could improve the platform...and by platform I mean CPU, since the boards are the province of motherboard vendors.

Personally, having owned an X58 since just after launch, and having built a few since, I'd say there isn't too much glaringly wrong with the platform. For those that find the extra expense a burdon, LGA1156/P55 makes a fine substitute.

You see...>snip< we can gander and your fine links, like a price chart without years listed and an ambiguous "now" column.

You mean this chart....the one that was circulated a month ago to system builders like myself ? And was widely circulated on the net as well as the primary subject of Intel's June press release? (hint: if you follow this link you will see July's offering)

or a link about "Look price drop!" from less then a month ago, (thats how long since release?) or better yet, tigerdirect.com.

I see....so, a price drop that occurs before your post is only relevant if it is instituted no later than May 2010, and any retail/etail outlet that isn't newegg does not count....Interesting set of parameters to say the least

Oh, and FYI the "xenophobic prejudice" was actually an insult directed at you. How embarrassing that I'd need to spell that out.

It was apparent, obviously irony and reasoned argument aren't your strong suits.....how embarrassing I need to spell it out.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Come on guys, argue the facts and leave your cynicism out of it. It would be a shame if we had to close this thread because a couple of members couldn't exchange their thoughts without mudslinging.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I would judge this particular line of discussion at an end in any case.

Panic attacks the argument from the emotive standpoint- that the platform should somehow guarantee lower prices as it ages, while my viewpoint is purely business based. While I can appreciate the contrary viewpoint as an abstract, it makes no business sense for Intel to lower it's ASP's and profit line while the product remains popular (by Panic's own admission he has built five X58 systems) and is operating largely within a competitive vacuum. While I'm at a loss to see Panic stricken by my argument which basically summarizes what appears to be a highly effective business model, I would have thought Intel's relative growth and the forecasts for both it, and it's AMD over the next 2-3 quarters would speak for themselves.

Hopefully the thread- if added to- reverts back to an AMD-centric discussion.

My apologies for my part in the hijack...I'll now hand control back to your regular flight crew.

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Soooooo, just a recap. Intel should lower prices to compete against AMD because AMD is providing no real competition.......gotcha..... The Oxford Union probably won't be sending out the invite anytime soon.

Putting aside all the petty bickering, this is still the point that to me is glaringly obvious and for all accounts seems you're intentionally getting wrong.

I think we can agree that Intel will charge as much for their processors as the market will bare. In my opinion, they've been overcharging because they can. They can overcharge because there is no credible threat to their sales by another vendor.

In an ideal world, AMD and Intel would be fiercely competing and trying to grab market share which results in better products at lower prices. As a consumer, wouldn't this be desirable?

So the entire jest of my first post which you took so much offence to, was this. "Get in the game AMD to get competition going again."

I've tried to illustrate this as clearly as possible in my posts, perhaps its a failure of mine to convey this opinion, or perhaps you feel that my stance on market competition is wrong. In either case, take it as you will, I just can't get any more plain than this.

So, other than lowering prices, you can't think of a thing that Intel could do that could improve the platform...and by platform I mean CPU, since the boards are the province of motherboard vendors.

Personally, having owned an X58 since just after launch, and having built a few since, I'd say there isn't too much glaringly wrong with the platform. For those that find the extra expense a burdon, LGA1156/P55 makes a fine substitute.

This is a non-sequitur to my original point.

You mean this chart....the one that was circulated a month ago to system builders like myself ? And was widely circulated on the net as well as the primary subject of Intel's June press release? (hint: if you follow this link you will see July's offering)

I see....so, a price drop that occurs before your post is only relevant if it is instituted no later than May 2010, and any retail/etail outlet that isn't newegg does not count....Interesting set of parameters to say the least

It was apparent, obviously irony and reasoned argument aren't your strong suits.....how embarrassing I need to spell it out.

Yes, that chart doesn't make sense to me at all. Maybe this is short sighteness on my part, but it appears that that chart shows a price drop in the i7 950 happening on August '09 or will happen August 2010? When your other link clearly claims a price drop coming in June 2010 which is an odd contradiction, particularly because price checking on the 950 right now, I can't find it cheaper than $500 anywhere. And even if I assume the other prices listed there are accurate, there's no price drops listed on processors AMD can't surpass with their current offerings. Which supports my point about competition being beneficial to the consumer.

So you could say that I'm selectively choosing to dismiss that June article because its claims would imply I'm wrong about Intel's pricing. However the claims that the article makes still don't show in the markets pricing and even if true, are set to happen over a year from the initial introduction of the chip.

Also, its not that any retailer besides Newegg doesn't count. It's that tigerdirect is known for illicit rebates, fraud and misleading pricing.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The first version of the Intel price-cut chart for June was sent to me via email-hence the fact I put it up at Imageshack for viewing. The second link to the same chart I deliberately linked to a post (and by association VR-Zone's story link) that is dated Jun 23 2010, thus the wording under the chart reading "The following changes in Intel Price- list will occur on 29 August".

BTW: Of course the August 2010 price drop for the 950 isn't reflected in the July pricing realignments....since it isn't dropping in price until...August. Nowhere in the Techspot link/Intel July pricing guide is the 950 mentioned for a pricing cut.

In an ideal world, AMD and Intel would be fiercely competing and trying to grab market share which results in better products at lower prices. As a consumer, wouldn't this be desirable?

In an ideal world, yes, most definitely desirable. But the point I'm making is that we don't live in that world. We live in a world where demand dictates pricing, the same world that allows a near one year old graphics accelerator series (HD5xxx) to retail at or above it's launch prices, where the vast majority of CPU's have locked mulipliers in order to charge exhorbitant amounts for the ones left unlocked

So the entire jest of my first post which you took so much offence to, was this. "Get in the game AMD to get competition going again

No. You'll find that the phrase I took issue with was from post #5

Intel processors have completely stagnated since the i7 was introduced and their chips made a year ago still cost the same

While in general terms the pricing is unchanged your statement is not wholly correct. The pricing is what the pricing is, b*tching about the cost never brought a price down if demand for it stays high...ergo it's a non-runner. You buy or you don't buy.

The main issue for me was the first part of the assertion (stagnation of i7 since introduction), which from a technical standpoint is false, unless Intel is judged by a different yardstick than every other tech entity.

Since LGA1366 was intoduced in November 2008, Intel have managed one revised stepping of 9xx CPU's, have successfully transitioned to a new process node at 32nm, brought to retail true six core (desktop) and eight core (server) CPU's (and introduced LGA 1567 for the latter Nehalem-EX CPU's), Not what I would call stagnation.

Penultimately...

Since the your original post contained two distinct statements seperated by a conjuction, then logically my response is not a non sequitur (there is also no hyphen between the words).

Finally...

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Ok, so then it sounds like we agree that i7 pricing hasn't changed much since launch. You say this is because of demand, which I don't fault. I'm just saying demand wouldn't be so high if AMD had stayed closer on overall performance. With the Radeon pricing you mention, I'd point at exactly the same factors.

Post #5 is my first post in this thread.

It's not that I measure Intel by a different yardstick as you put it, I'm simply comparing developments in regards to the history of developments in the CPU industry. For example,

In 2006, Intel releases conroe, conroe xe, kentsfield xe

In 2007, Intel releases Allendale, Kentsfield, yorkfield xe

In 2008, Intel releases Wolfdale, Yorkfield, Bloomfield (i7)

In 2009, Intel releases Lynnfield.

In 2010, Intel releases Gulftown (so far)

When looking at the history, maybe stagnation isn't the right word, but I think it shows my point. The i7 shows up, trumps all and suddenly progress has lulled.

Now it could be that there's a variety of factors for the reduced amount of releases that I'm not considering. I'd welcome any insight on this because as far as i see it, when Intel doesn't get heat from AMD, they stop trying.

Also, I point at the argument as non sequitur because my defining X58 improvements doesn't demonstrate any counterpoint to my post #5. No list or lack there of would be relevant to the need for competition or note of lack of releases I pointed out.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Regarding the Intel lineage...

Conroe and Conroe XE should be considered one family. XE's are just the unlocked multi CPU (X6800 was the only one released). Kentsfield is simply 2 Conroe cores on the same package -so 2 x 143mm² instead of the single two-core Conroe of 143mm². Kentsfield-XE is in turn the unlocked multi (eXtreme Edition QX6700/6800/6850). All have the same basic cache structure and instruction sets, as does Allendale, which is a Conroe core with a halved L2 cache (which makes the die a little smaller) and a crippled FSB (800MHz, probably to suit the budget nature of the part)...So architecturally Conroe, Kentsfield and Allendale (along with the Xeon Tigerton, Clovertown and Woodcrest) are the same chip- just that the "Quad cores" feature two of them. All are 65nm process.

Once you die shrink the architecture to 45nm (and add SSE4.1 instruction) and a little refinement the CPU's turn into Wolfdale and Wolfdale 3M (Core 2 Duo E8xxx and E7xxx). Two Wolfdale CPU's in the same package becomes either Yorkfield 6M (Q9xxx/Q8xxx w/ 6Mb cache), Yorkfield (Q9450/9550/9650 w/12Mb cache) or Yorkfield-XE (QX9650/9770/9775). Add Xeon Harpertown and Dunnington (6 single core package) to the rebrands to complete the family.

New architecture for Bloomfield (9x0) and Bloomfield-XE (965/975) (plus Xeon Gainestown 5500 series/Bloomfield W35xx series). Minor overhaul for Lynnfield (plus Xeon 3400).

Die shrink to 32nm....Clarkdale (Core i3/i5 w/IGP) from Lynnfield, Gulftown (+ Xeon) from Bloomfield. In addition you have Intel's server CPU recieving a major architectural change with Beckton (Nehalem-EX) 8 core (LGA 1567) E/L/X65xx/75xx Xeon as well as the Bloomfield-Lynnfield hybrid Xeon Jasper Forest series, both of which look to supply facets for Sandy Bridge (Q4 2010) and Sandy Bridge B2 (late 2011) desktops.

In essence, since Netburst's demise you could say the family tree consists of new architecture (C2D/C2Q at 65nm) , architecture tweak (C2D/C2Q at 45nm), new architecture (Nehalem at 45 and 32nm)

Of course while this is all shaking out Intel still have CPU R&D investment with Atom (Silverthorne, Pineview, Diamondville) as well as the usual (ever expanding) lines of Clarksfield and Arrandale based Nehalems. Mobile and ULV in general obviously play a far larger part in Intel's plans than they did in previous generations, as might the research projects Larrabee and the 48 core SCC .

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Thats a great detailed explanation of Intel's desktop processor developments. I see what you mean by the XE not being a big deal on releases. So basically only architecture changes and die shrinks are what you consider to be noteworthy advancements that they should be measured against (in desktop processors).

And in those terms, here's what I'm seeing.

2006 - 90nm to 65nm - introduction of core arch

2007 - 65nm to 45 nm - core 2 arch

2008 - introduction of i7 arch

2009 -

2010 - 45 to 32 nm

Now I get that the mobile market is bigger than ever and it'd make sense they're increasing efforts to develop that market. But would you say that the lack of development in 2009 would be shown in an increase in development in mobile products at that time? Is the industry leaving the desktop platform and thats the result of less development instead of the lack of competition?

Because I'm still having a hard time seeing a fault in my original post.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

But would you say that the lack of development in 2009 would be shown in an increase in development in mobile products at that time?

No.

No major product release for 2009 is probably co-incidental to a degree.

What I would say, is that Intel got most¹ of it's ducks in a row in 2006-07 to allow themselves some time to regroup and have a few financial quarters without significant expenditure. The ten months between Bloomfield and Lynnfield represent Intel's return on investment for C2D/Q at 45nm.

Bear in mind that for most people "die shrink from 65nm to 45nm" sounds like a fairly easy process. For Intel it meant building 45nm fabs to make wafers on that node. Actual cost was in the region of $US 9 billion dollars. You can see why Intel would like some time at that node to recoup capital expenditure. Bear in mind that the move to 32nm is likely more expensive per wafer run. Of course not every run at every fab is an Intel product, but the majority are.

Personally I would view the timeline as:

C2D @ 65nm (Mainstream) Aug 2006

C2Q @ 65nm (Enthusiast) Nov 2006 (interval 3 months)

C2Q @ 45nm (Enthusiast) Nov 2007 (interval 12 months...15 months between 65nm and 45nm)

C2D @ 45nm (Mainstream) Jan 2008 (interval 2 months)

Bloomfield 45nm (Enthusiast) Nov 2008 (interval 10 months...27 months between architectures)

Lynnfield 45nm (Mainstream) Sept 2009 (interval 10 months)

Clarkdale 32nm (Mainstream+IGP) Jan 2010 (interval 4 months...14 months between 45nm and 32nm)

Gulftown 32nm (Enthusiast) Mar 2010 (interval 2 months)

Sandy Bridge 32nm (Mainstream) c Dec 2010² (interval <9 months...<24 months between architectures)

¹ I say "most" because Intel deferred moving to immersion lithography (a major expense) at 45nm which is probably the limit for the dry lithography process. 32nm and smaller require immersion lithography for accuracy.

² Probable worst case scenario

Because I'm still having a hard time seeing a fault in my original post.

I think the pricing argument has been done to death. Regarding the stagnation...note the time frames between architectures and between process nodes.

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