Rather than ship the 2.4-GHz 9700 and the 2.6-GHz 9900 this quarter, the quad-core processors are expected to be released in the second quarter, AMD said. Both chips are aimed at computer enthusiasts, who account for about 5% of the market.
In the first quarter, AMD plans to ship the 65-watt 9000e processor, listed as an energy-efficient quad-core product, and the company's first tri-core chip, called the 8000. Clock speeds and pricing were not disclosed.
Both products are aimed at mainstream customers, who account for about 60% of the chip market, an AMD spokesman said. The remainder of the market is served by low-end products that trade power for lower prices.
The changes were not because of any problems with manufacturing, the spokesman said. Release of the 9000e was pushed up from the second quarter because it had the most customer demand. The tricore Phenom had always been scheduled for a first-quarter release.
"This is not a manufacturing issue. It's an issue of prioritizing on customer feedback," he said. While the enthusiast market is "immensely important," AMD made the decision this time to serve mainstream customers first.
AMD made the unusual move of sending an e-mail to reporters to "clarify" the reason for the changes, following reports of delays in Phenom shipments.
AMD started shipping its mainstream AMD Phenom quad-core processors, the 9500 and 9600, in mid-November. The company claims to have shipped "hundreds of thousands" of the chips in the fourth quarter 2007.