Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy New Year! How did we get here?

Where we last left this story back in November 2007, Intel had just launched its 45nm Penryn family processors (to very positive reviews), AMD released its Spider platform (to underwhelming reviews) as well as a flurry of bad news from push out of release dates of higher clocked Phenom and Barcelona parts, Bulldozer, and graphic technologies as well as fessing up to errata and other "execution challenges" at the Dec 13 2007 Financial Analyst Day.

I thought it would be interesting to plot a chart of Intel vs AMD stock price since the launch of Penryn on 11/12/2007 and 1/9/2008 (today).

Source: Google Finance

What a disaster! AMD's stock value has dropped 55.29% whereas Intel has dropped but only 9.53% during the same period! Let's remind ourselves about some events that have occurred since November 12 which may help explain the chart.

  • Most reviews of Penryn have been overwhelmingly positive.
  • Intel stock reached a 1 year high of $27.99 in December, 2007.
  • Barcelona and Phenom have not ramped to expectations. Numerous problems appear to be plaguing AMD with no apparent relief in sight.
  • SmartMoney/CNBC's Jim Cramer put Hector Ruiz on his " CEO Wall of Shame"
  • Private issuance to Mubadala Development Company of 49 Million newly minted AMD shares ($12.70 per share as of 11/15/2007), netting AMD $608 Million. As of January 10, 2008's market close, AMD's shares were worth $5.53 each, resulting in a 56.46% loss in value to Mubadala. Ouch!
  • AMD announced that its ATI acquisition would be impaired
  • The AMD December Financial Analyst Day did not seem to convince the sell-side analysts that AMD would get out of its rut soon. It didn't help that Hector Ruiz has torqued analysts with comments like "I don't know what kind of Kool-Aid some analysts drink" and "I don't give a damn about short-sighted analysts and investors."
  • The Consumer Electronics Show 2008 (CES) kicked off in Las Vegas
Nevermind other factors such as the subprime mortgage mess, fears of the "R" word, and a tech slowdown in 2008.

Of course, I could also throw in
  • Britney Spears was taken into Cedars on a "5150 hold" and lost custody of her children
but I won't go there...

Next week will turn out to be interesting. In addition to being the week of Macworld Conference & Expo, it is also Q4 2007 earnings reporting week for both Intel and AMD. By most accounts, Intel is expected to have a blowout quarter. Everyone expects AMD to report a loss but the big question is "how much?" The street will closely listen to the Q1 forward looking earnings guidance for a seasonal drop from Q1 or above seasonal which would bode well for Intel but could bode either way for AMD.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Penryn Launch: Game Over

Today, Intel formally launched its 45nm Penryn based processors. The press release is available here in case you missed it. Concurrent with the press release, Intel made available this link comparing 45nm Penryn CPU performance vs Intel's existing 65nm and AMD's existing K8 and K10 (rev 10h, Barcelona) based designs across a wide variety of benchmarks spanning Integer, FP, HPC, Database/OLTP, ERP, Web, Media, and Virtualization.

Not only do Intel's performance results dominate and blow away the competition, but Intel also has stated that Penryn products are available between now and the next 45 days, which is 180 degrees opposite the AMD Barcelona launch experience. This Tech Report article summarizes the available Penryn SKUs along with pricing information.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples of Intel's Penryn performance:

Source: Intel

Remember when AMD was making a bunch of noise earlier this year about how it was going to blow away Intel in SPECfp_Rate2006 with simulated Barcelona numbers? With Penryn, it appears that Intel blows away its own 65nm quads as well as deliver AMD's forthcoming Opteron "true quad core" Barcelona at 2.5GHz a "nice try" message.

Lets look at another benchmark: SPECjbb20005

Source: Intel

In SPECjbb2005, you see that the Penryn Quad-Core Xeon X5460 @ 3.16GHz system provides about 21% higher throughput than Intel's existing Quad-Core Xeon X5365 "Clovertown" system @ 3GHz. Where is AMD's Barcelona quad comparison? Perhaps AMD has not gotten an OEM or themselves to publish numbers because they know better. The best that could be done in this case is to compare against the existing Dual-Core AMD Opteron 2224SE @ 3.2GHz publication, which Intel's existing 65nm Intel Dual-Core 5160 "Woodcrest" trounce handily.

I could spend the rest of the space in this post talking about the Penryn Desktop performance numbers or links to other articles on the web...but I won't and leave it as an exercise for you to find using your favorite search engine :).

In other news, over at Circus Maximus, Sharikou has officially gone mad. In a desperate attempt to paper over Intel's Penryn product launch blitzkrieg, Sharikou rushed his post, titled "The world gorws (sic) up with AMD" out. A word of advice to Sharikou: if you are going to mock, at least use a spell checker. This is not the first time you've been caught with a fumbled headline. And please give credit/citation to the source of the materials you post in your, er, "blog". Doesn't every "journalist" know how to do these two simple things? In my world, real journalists get disciplined or fired for plagiarizing work or for lack of basic English spelling skills.

Update: Sharikou scrambled again tonight and posted anew to try and deflect Penryn with this lame post and managed to screw up the title yet again: "Intel's 3GHZ Penryn ia (sic) almost slower than 2GHz K10". Doesn't this babbling idiot learn?

In summary, Intel has pulled a coup with Penryn. Not only does it blow away anything the competition has to offer at attractive price, power, and performance points but it has actual CPUs available at launch, something that AMD should find sobering.

Now, who is it again that is going BK?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Tick" - the clock is ticking

Source: 2007 Intel Spring Analyst Meeting

Source: 2007 Fall IDF

This morning, Intel sent out this press release announcing the opening of its first, high-volume 45nm leading edge microprocessor manufacturing facility in Chandler, AZ.

Fab 32 is the 2nd factory in Intel's fab network to produce 45nm processors, following the D1D Hillsboro, OR facility which manufactured the first 45nm processors in January, 2007.

Fab 28, in Kiryat Gat, Israel and Fab 11x in Rio Rancho, NM will produce 45nm microprocessors in 2008, rounding Intel's 45nm factory network.

Intel's 45nm High-k manufacturing process will be used to produce Penryn and Nehalem based processor designs.

It is rumored that on November 12, Intel will observe one minute of silence in remembrance of AMD, as "rev 10h" is officially inducted into Justin Rattner's Dustbin of Obsolete Technology.

Oh, and one more thing. Today 10/25 was also the one year anniversary of the acquisition of ATI by AMD. In celebration of the event, the Inquirer's Theo Vallich wrote this piece in memory of the ill-fated union. Was it worth it? Theo writes:

"Time will tell if Hector and Dirk screwed things up or not. All we know is that AMD's market cap today is at the levels of ATI Technologies alone (at ATI's finest hour), meaning around 15 billion dollars of shareholder value got wiped over the course of a single year.

Joint market cap was around 20.87 billion USD - Daamit is now valued at 6.99 billion USD. ยต"

Hmm...maybe not :)

10/26 Update: besides reporting lackluster support for AMD's Black Edition from motherboard makers in this article, DIGITIMES reported that AMD will launch its first Phenom quad-core processors on November 20. Techspot reckons that if the rumor is correct, Phenoms at 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz will 512K L2 per core and 2M shared L3 will be peddled. This will not be enough to compete against Intel's Penryn based monsters.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NEWS FLASH! Sharikou narrows his Intel bankruptcy projection timeframe

I previously wrote here that Sharikou had pushed out his Intel bankruptcy timeframe prediction out to 2009. I had chided Sharikou for not giving a narrower range in 2009 as in his original bankruptcy prediction he had given both the calendar year and quarter.

Today, in this new Circus Maximus post, Sharikou narrows his Intel bankruptcy projection to 1Q09.

In an ironic development, on Tuesday, October 16, Intel reported blowout Q3 2007 earnings. From the press release:

• Revenue $10.1 Billion, up 15 Percent Year-over-Year
• Operating Income $2.2 Billion, up 64 Percent Year-over-Year
• Record Microprocessor, Chipset and Flash Unit Shipments
• Net Income $1.9 Billion
• EPS 31 Cents

Intel also guided Q4 earnings in a positive trajectory
Revenue: Between $10.5 billion and $11.1 billion.
• Gross margin: 57 percent plus or minus a couple of points.

Intel shipped more than 2 million quad core processors during the 3rd quarter. I wonder how many AMD managed to ship in the same timeframe. Anyone care to hazard a guess?

AMD reports Q3 2007 earnings on Thursday, October 18, after the bell.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Intel Nehalem and AMD Toliman Die Pics

I recently became aware of a recent post by Hans de Vries of his analysis of Intel's Nehalem Die. For pictures of other work by Hans you can check out

Quad Core Nehalem

Another picture of Nehalem's die was posted in this DailyTech blog entry by Kristopher Kubicki

Not to be outdone, I've recently become aware of recent links to pictures of alleged AMD Toliman aka AMD PhenomTM triple-core dies floating out and about.

You've probably already seen this picture in this Roborat's blog post

This one was sent to me by a recent ex-ATI Markham employee who's recently relocated to points south.

And this one, perhaps my favorite one to date, hails from this post (scroll to see post by RuSo) on

I also received a mysterious email with the following image claiming to be that of the home of a certain "managing editor" who resides in Linton, Indiana. I don't know what this has anything to do with Nehalem or Toliman die pictures but I figured I'd put up the image to round out this set.

If someone has additional links to other die shots of interest, I'd like to know about them.

Friday, October 5, 2007

RUMOR - No more posh digs for AMD execs?

According to this AMD fan site post, AMD's Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz will be downsizing from an office to a cubicle. This change will presumably take place when AMD moves out of its existing Austin location to the new "Lone Star" campus which is under construction under heavy protest from environmentalists as its on the environmentally fragile Barton Springs area of the Edwards Acquifer.

According to this article by the Save Our Springs Alliance,

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) recently bucked public opinion and public policy guidance by moving their operations out of the Desired Development Zone and into the and into the Barton Springs watershed, where they are building an 860,000 square foot complex. For comparison, the Frost Bank tower downtown is about 500,000 square feet.

We encourage companies to locate in Austin responsibly. AMD instead was irresponsible with their location, and consequently polluted the waterways of the Barton Springs watershed with dirty runoff after a relatively minor rain event.

Some links on this matter from the Austin Chronicle

AMD Not So Clean?
Point Austin: Saying 'No' to AMD

Here's AMD's spin site on the matter.

AMD employees should be ashamed. Maybe the "senior leadership team" should have retained their offices at the existing AMD location.

One more thing. Didn't Hector relocate to Sunnyvale?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

NEWS FLASH! Sharikou delays his Intel bankruptcy prediction until 2009

After many ramblings in the Circus Maximus blog by Sharikou whereby he asserted that Intel would go bankrupt in 2Q08, today we are greeted with the following statement in this latest Circus Maximus post, where he writes
But by 2009, Intel will have BKed, and won't be able to pay the
anti-trust penalties.

Come again? 2009? Whatever came over Sharikou to grant Intel such an extensive reprieve from bankruptcy at this time?

How could we go from such memorable statements like below (thanks to Intel Fanboi)...:

Dell was excited, I heard, he is going to switch to near 100% AMD by 1Q08, just one quarter ahead of Intel's projected BK

I re-iterate my projection that Intel BK by 2Q08.

Intel BK by 2Q08, that what I said in 2006, and that is what will happen in 2Q08.

As I predicted long ago, AMD should exit 2006 with 40% market share (run rate). Intel's BK by 2Q08 is pretty much in the bag. a CY2009 pushback? Hell! What about the friggin' calendar quarter, eh? Sharikou, are you losing your touch?

We could speculate what brought forth a change in Sharikou's doomquarter, umm, doomyear projections...

  • Did a bowling ball or some other similarly amassed object land on his head?
  • Did he finally get the right meds to stabilize his condition?
  • Did he suddenly learn how to find and read SEC filings?
  • ?

Sadly, we may never know the answer to the question.

Perhaps it's a Freudian slip

Maybe 2009 is the year a company "BK"s alright.

But not Intel.