Intel Set to Postpone Introduction of New Quad-Core

Intel Corp. may postpone the actual release of its quad-core microprocessors produced using 45nm process technology due to an undisclosed defect and the fact that both Intel and its partners have a lot of central processing units (CPUs) with four processing engines made using 65nm tech in stock. It is unclear whether the delay will affect the world's largest x86 chipmaker financially.

Initially Intel planned to roll-out its code-named Wolfdale and Yorkfield microprocessors that are projected to be marketed under Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme brand-names on the 10th of January, 2008. But the plans have changed and, according to a news-story at HKEPC web-site, Intel will only be able to release dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo 8000-series (Wolfdale) processors in February, while Intel Core 2 Quad 9000-series (Yorkfield) will only see the light of the day in February or March.

The media report claims that Intel has discovered a "slight processor system bus defect" in its quad-core processors code-named Yorkfield

View: The full story @ X-Bit Labs

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18 Comments

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toadeater said,
Without competition, consumers get screwed.

True, who knows, maybe VIA will buy them out, they have the manufacturing facilities and capital to use AMD IP to compete in the CPU market again.

I'd rather they wait for a bit. I like a good fight. Give AMD a chance to get their head out of their asses and pull something good out of the bag. I've been AMD since 1999, but this last round I went intel Quad Core, and I'm happy I did. Intel is both saving face and giving healthy competition time to build back up.

Realistically, look how much of the market they hold right now. If it shifts a few more percentile in their favor, we won't have an AMD any longer... nobody wants that...

Intel needs a *healthy* AMD. The issue right now is that AMD is far from healthy; worse, they still have to finish digesting ATI Technologies. If Intel were to introduce Wolfdale and Yorkfield as *mainstream* processors anytime in the first half of 2008 (and their attendant X48 chipset), the only casualties would be Intel's own Conroe and Kentsfield processors and the currrent X38 chipset (of which plenty are still sitting in inventory). That not only does Intel no good (it's *eating their children* all over again), it does even less good to the channel, which is already on shaky ground with the severe slowdowns in corporate IT desktop spending.

Worse, neither Conroe or Kentsfield are under any sort of performance or even pricing pressure from the X2 or Phenom processor families, and Intel *still* has to empty out those inventories before even *thinking* about mainstreaming Wolfdale, let alone Yorkfield.

If Intel absolutely wanted to do in AMD at this point, all it has to do is position Kentsfield as a Conroe-killer. (In short, push quad-core *now*.) However, destroying AMD would cause more problems for Intel than it would solve. And that doesn't include governmental investigation that would surely ensue (even though, amazingly, Intel's hands are completely clean) and fines (not because Intel did anything wrong; however, the pressure would very much be on to appear to be *doing something* to rein in a monopolistic-by-default Intel).

I was going to say "gasp" when I read the headline... but the rest of the article suggests that the delay is only about 1 month.

In the world of computar delays, that hardly even counts as one! (PS: Why is this comment #5 :-p )

Competition is healthy, and Intel knows this. Without competition, governments would investigate the hell out of Intel, resulting in hefty fines. IMO, Intel, whilst giving AMD a better chance, is also saving its own ass here.

It's hard being the monopoly.

AMD, get your act together. Purchased 3 AMDs so far, but I'm seriously considering going with Intel for my next purchase though.

+1

I was going to say just the same - they probably called it themselves because they need AMD in the game, otherwise they inevitable become a monopoly. "slight processor system bus defect" my arse :P

-Spenser

I'm usually not critical of conspiracy theories, but this one is just plain ludicrious. Intel has no reason to give AMD a break. They are a corporation hell-bent on making profits, and there's no way they would leave market share on the table, monopoly suspicions or otherwise.

This is likely a serious defect (data corruption) resulting from heavy and unprecedented traffic between the north bridge. Intel's chipset division is a distinctly separate entity and even in the best cases, there's alot of room for misinterpretation of specs. Usually if the defect can be worked around with a register config (BIOS) change, Intel would ship with the errata. This one probably has no such fix, so they are forced to spin the silicon.

Keep in mind that this could be a corner case defect that affects a very small % of applications. But, Intel sells to a huge audience and probably can't afford the bad press and backlash from scientific, military & government users.

gotta love monopoly and the very convineant "defect". Intel canceled X48 launch because Mobo makers were having x38 stocks, now they cancel Yorkfield launches.

We all saw this coming, because they don't have to compete with AMD at the moment, so they'll just keep selling us present generation tech until AMD get their finger out and start to pressure them again.

SEE, PEOPLE....!!! THIS is why we still badly need AMD.. to keep intel on their toes, without AMD, Intel would still be flogginbg us the SOS next year.. at inflated prices.

I concur. The consumers need AMD. AMD was the reason Intel kicked things into high-gear, because of AMD64. Now, AMD finds itself in a similar (well, not too similar) position Intel was a few years ago.

If, perish the thought, AMD does go on the decline, I truly hope Samsung buys them out.

That would bring the competition to epic proportions.

David3k said,
I concur. The consumers need AMD. AMD was the reason Intel kicked things into high-gear, because of AMD64. Now, AMD finds itself in a similar (well, not too similar) position Intel was a few years ago.

If, perish the thought, AMD does go on the decline, I truly hope Samsung buys them out.

That would bring the competition to epic proportions.

hehe, you said what I wanted to say. Sure, Intel is kickin ass, but we need AMD! You can be a fanboy for either one, but just be happy the other is there.

The Walker said,
We all saw this coming, because they don't have to compete with AMD at the moment, so they'll just keep selling us present generation tech until AMD get their finger out and start to pressure them again.

SEE, PEOPLE....!!! THIS is why we still badly need AMD.. to keep intel on their toes, without AMD, Intel would still be flogginbg us the SOS next year.. at inflated prices.

I am more inclined to say that people need Intel, as before the Core 2 Duos debuted, AMD was not lowering the prices of their processors but raising them.

Intel has not delayed the introduction of its next generation microarchitecture 2, Nehalem. Since AMD is not competing them, they decided to take some time to fix errata that would have went unfixed at the original launch date. There is nothing wrong with that.

Shining Arcanine said,

I am more inclined to say that people need Intel, as before the Core 2 Duos debuted, AMD was not lowering the prices of their processors but raising them.

Intel has not delayed the introduction of its next generation microarchitecture 2, Nehalem. Since AMD is not competing them, they decided to take some time to fix errata that would have went unfixed at the original launch date. There is nothing wrong with that.

Nehalem is "supposed" to be on time. Intel is pushing back the new quads... what makes you think they're not going to push back Nehalem.

This comes as no surprise to me. Intel is really forcing the communications of each processor die via it's current architecture. The strength of their processors is in the single-threaded performance of each die, which would greatly benefit from a "Proper" core-to-core communication method, rather than just sending data down the bus lane to the northbridge and back again.

Yes, I am referring to the Quads, not the Duos, because the Duo has a method of talking to the a second core directly, but the quads are just 2 Duos packaged together, meaning that each "pair" can talk to each other fine, but if all four cores communicate, chaos ensues on the bus lane and northbridge.