Is AMD about to hit a brick wall in dual-core processors? That's the conclusion from this piece in TG Daily regarding the upcoming Puma platform.
The site claims to have inside information on the processor's current specs, and they aren't good, either for the Puma platform in general or the Griffin mobile version. The major hang-up appears to be power consumption. The site claims the Puma eats up more energy than AMD's current Turion 64 chips, which draw about 35 watts TDP max. What's more, it probably won't be as fast as Intel's Montevina chips, with the possible exception of 3D graphics processing, courtesy of a Direct X 10 engine.
A poor showing in the mobile market could spell trouble for AMD, considering it's one of the few segments of the IT economy that most people consider to be fairly recession-proof. eWEEK's Scott Ferguson, in fact, puts the release of Puma at number two in his "List of 10 Things AMD Needs to Fix Now" slideshow, right behind full conversion to 45 nm manufacturing.
One thing AMD can count on is the fact that Intel isn't about to show any mercy. The company denies that competitive factors led it to halve the prices of its 65 nm quad-cores this week (Xeon 3230s for $300 a pop), but the move did come just as AMD was rolling out new quad- and triple-core designs. Dual-Core Xeons and Core 2 Duos are also on sale.
Fortunately for AMD, the market for x86 processors is expanding at the moment. Both AMD and Intel increased their market shares from the third to the fourth quarter, according to iSuppli, even though AMD's share is still tiny (about 14 percent of the market) and still trails what it was a year ago by about 1.5 percent.
But if Intel can clear the channel of 65-nm devices and complete the transition to 45-nm sooner rather than later, it could be a long tough road for AMD, no matter what the specs look like.