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AMD Says 'Shanghai'-Based Servers To Hit Market In 4Q

The chipmaker said that rollout of its first 45-nm server chip is ahead of schedule and that it learned from its mistakes in launching Barcelona.
In mid-2009, AMD plans to ship its first chipset in five years. Code-named Fiorano, the chipset, which includes graphics technology from AMD's ATI division, will support Shanghai and AMD's first six-core processor, code-named Istanbul, which is scheduled to ship in the second half of next year, Patla said.

In 2010, AMD plans to ship a new platform, code-named Maranello, that will require a new socket to support enhancements such as the move to DDR3 memory from DDR2. For the new platform, AMD will be also releasing in 2010 a 12-core processor code-named Magny-Cours, and a six-core chip, code-named Sao Paolo.

AMD decided it was time to build its own chipset in order to compete in the growing market for virtualization technology, which enables customers to run multiple applications on different operating systems in the same server. "Virtualized input/output is the number one driver for that solution set," Patla said of Fiorano. "We want to make sure we bring the solution to market when it needs to be there."

One area of virtualization that'll probably remain a problem for a while is the difficulty in moving virtual machines running an OS and application on an Intel server to an AMD server. Being able to do so easily could encourage companies to add AMD machines to an Intel environment.

Patla claimed moving VMs is possible today, but acknowledged it could only be done under certain conditions. He declined to provide details and said he didn't know AMD's plans in that area.

Behind AMD's product road map are mounting losses resulting from the problems with the Barcelona launch, the costly acquisition of graphics chipmaker ATI Technologies and tough competition from its larger rival, Intel. For the second quarter of this year, AMD lost nearly $1.2 billion, the latest in a string of quarterly losses.

AMD in July replaced chief executive Hector Ruiz with Dirk Meyer, who was AMD president and chief operating officer since 2006. Ruiz remains AMD's chairman and assumed the title of executive chairman responsible for developing a new manufacturing strategy to reduce costs. That strategy is expected to include the shift to third-party manufacturers, and the closing of AMD fabs.