AMD apologizes for 2007 performance

It’s no secret that 2007 was a rough year for AMD. This past year saw the technology and manufacturing gap between AMD and Intel widen yet again as AMD struggled to transition to a 65nm process. What’s more, the company’s Quad FX platform failed to impress and Barcelona–the platform whose success the company had been banking on–was plagued by manufacturing woes.

So, what now? Well, as they say, the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. That’s exactly what AMD did at this year’s annual Financial Analyst Day. “This time around, there was no glitter, no flash, and no rosy pep talks about the current (or future) dominance of AMD products in the marketplace,” Ars Technica reports. “The various corporate executives who spoke, including Hector Ruiz (CEO), Mario Rivas (executive vice president, Computing Products Group), and Dirk Meyer (president, chief operating officer), acknowledged the difficulties AMD is currently experiencing, admitted that the company’s execution had slipped badly over 2007, and pledged that 2008 would be different.”

To that end, the company released a few figures from this past year and a handful of predictions for 2008. The company sold 34,000 Barcelona cores during Q3 2007, plans to ship “hundreds of thousands” of parts by the end of Q4 and plans to double shipments by Q1 2008. In relation to Phenom, the company plans to ship Phenom and Barcelona parts in a 3:1 ratio through Q1 2008. Around the end of the first quarter/beginning of the second quarter, the company plans to ramp up production of Barcelona, making the chips available to Fortune 500 companies in volume. Surprisingly, the company also detailed their plans to transition to a 45nm manufacturing process. Apparently, the first samples are set to be delivered in January, with a production ramp set for the second half of 2008. Hmm…does that seem a little optimistic to anyone else?

While it’s certainly encouraging to see AMD admit to their mistakes, it would have been nice to see the company offer more detailed information as to how they plan to right the ship in 2008. As Ars notes, “the statements and projections AMD didn’t make resonate more strongly than those it did.”

For more on AMD:
– see this Ars Technica article

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