AMD kills off big cores, Kaveri, Steamroller, and Excavator

Analysis: No good words to describe this latest debacle

AMD FX CPU logoRemember when SemiAccurate said that Kaveri was going to be ‘reevaluated’ and slipped to 2014? It looks like the chip failed the evaluation, and took all the big AMD cores with it.

It is really sad to say, but it looks like the big AMD core line that went Bulldozer, Piledriver, Steamroller, Excavator, has been revised to Bulldozer, Piledriver, the end. Word has reached our ears that pretty much the entirety of the AMD big core line was a casualty of the last round of layoffs. It looks like it is game over in that whole segment for the green team.

AMD recently announced that they are getting in to the ARM server business, something that has been in the works since about 13.29 seconds after the Dirking. At that time, AMD didn’t have the resources to do two x86 cores and an ARM core, and they don’t now. Any informed onlooker could tell you how this scenario was going to play out, but most expected the middle line Bobcat/Jaguar cores to be the casualty. Instead, the bigger cores are now…. err…. this.

There really aren’t any good words to describe the current situation, AMD abandoned their cores that had one competitor, albeit that one is Intel, for an unproven market. Worse yet, that market has lots of competitors, many of which are already on the market that AMD won’t be in until 2014. Still worse yet, AMD is jumping in with an undifferentiated core and a less flexible but possibly more efficient interconnect. This author for one thinks that killing the big cores for ARM is not just ill conceived, it is suicidal. That said, given the board’s track record, this impending implosion is better than par for their course.S|A

Updated 11/19/2012@10:15am: AMD contacted us with an official denial of the story and stated that Kaveri and the big cores are still on track.

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate