THERE HAVE BEEN rumblings of AMD’s Bulldozer core being pulled in, and some very wild dates are floating. It is true that they are pulling it in, but not nearly as much as some speculate.
Short story, Llano is set for a late Q2 introduction. Orochi, the first Bulldozer part was coming in Q3. This latest adjustment puts Orochi in Q2, we hear April or May for the first few units, likely before Llano. This is probably going to be announced at analyst day next week when Orochi will be publicly demoed. That is the big surprise for attendees.
Those breathless few who are saying January/February for launch are missing one big thing, validation. Orochi is a server part, and while the platform, Socket C32, is known, the chip isn’t. Orochi samples are just going out now, and there is not enough time to properly validate the new chip + old platform.
Any server vendor worth consideration will need more than 2-3 months to validate the platform, BIOS, and new features. Intel says that you need about 12 months to validate a server part, AMD claims a bit less. If there isn’t more than a quarter between sample and release, you might want to consider Intel CPUs this round, validation is that important. Bringing Orochi to market is more than plugging in a chip.
In the end, you will see Orochi this coming week in demo form. You will very likely see it later in Q2 in low volume form, and Q3 will bring real volume. Barring last minute glitches, the light is finally visible at the end of AMDs tunnel.S|A