AMD releases 3 new triple-core Phenom processors

Analyst says new products may not be enough to lift AMD out of the hole it's in

Continuing its recent new product push, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. today released three new triple-core Phenom processors.

The Phenom X3 chips fill out AMD's family of X86 triple cores, as the new X3 8450, the X3 8650 and the X3 8750 join the Phenom X3 8000 that was unveiled in early March.  

Brent Barry, a spokesman for AMD, said the triple core chips are a good option for users looking for more than a dual-core processor but aren't ready yet for a move to quad-core technology.

Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at research firm Insight 64 in Saratoga, Calif., said in an earlier interview that a triple-core product line is also a smart move for AMD because it allows the company to use quad-core chips coming off a manufacturing line with a damaged core. Instead of tossing it out and wasting the silicon, they can sell it as a triple-core, he said.

Jim McGregor, an analyst at In-Stat in Scottsdale, Ariz., added that simply shipping new products is a good step for a company that has staggered dramatically over the past year and was forced to delay product releases. "They're rounding out their product portfolio," he said. "The biggest thing is having a dual core, a triple core and a quad core. They've got different performance, frequency and price ranges. It's very important they're coming out with new product."

However, McGregor also noted that AMD has to do more than move out new products to dig itself out of its hole. In particular, he said that AMD executives need to address rumors of a management shakeup, about the sale of fabrication plants or even that the company itself is on the block.

"We still don't see strategic vision and strong management from the company," McGregor said. "There are a lot of rumors about them. If you don't talk about the rumors, as a general rule, there's some truth to at least one of them. It's great they're shipping product. But to instill confidence in their customer base, they need to come out and be more proactive and talk about their strategy and what's going on. Give us something. Give us a reason to believe."

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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