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Intel Nehalem Launch Expected to Be Delayed

Date: 2008-6-10

   The delay of the mobile Intel Centrino 2 platform introduction may not be the only one for Intel Corp. this year, says an analyst. Apparently, the world’s largest chipmaker may also post...

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The delay of the mobile Intel Centrino 2 platform introduction may not be the only one for Intel Corp. this year, says an analyst. Apparently, the world’s largest chipmaker may also postpone mass release of its next-generation Nehalem microprocessor for unknown reasons.

“Our checks suggest Intel’s Nehalem server parts will initially launch in single-socket only, which we believe will be viewed by customers and investors as a delayed ramp of the company’s second generation 45nm server architecture due out in late 2H ’08. We believe this may be viewed as the second launch delay in recent weeks and is likely to call into question Intel's solid record of on-time execution,” said analyst Doug Freedman of American Technology Research, reports EETimes web-site.

It is interesting to note that chief executive officer of Intel, Paul Otellini, said last year that the company would ship octa-core Nehalem processors in 2008, whereas now Intel claims that the firm will be able to produce code-named Bloomfield quad-core implementation of Nehalem design this year.

Earlier this month some other unofficial sources indicated that mainstream and performance-mainstream chips based on Nehalem micro-architecture will be available only in the second half of 2009, considerably later compared to server or high-end desktop oriented versions.

Still, the comparatively slow adoption rate of a new microprocessor design may be easily explained by the fact that Nehalem chips require a completely new infrastructure: new core-logic sets, new mainboards, new sockets, cooling systems and so on, which is why system integrators might not demand rapid transition. Currently Intel’s central processing units are in comfortable position on the market as they have performance advantage over products offered by Advanced Micro Devices and it is not certain whether AMD’s next-generation code-named Shanghai processors will offer higher performance than already existing Intel Xeon chips made using 45nm fabrication process.

Still, Mr. Friedman believes that delays of Intel Nehalem launch may be positive for AMD.

“We believe the Nehalem launch plan opens the door for AMD’s Shanghai server chip (45-nm shrink of Barcelona) in 2H ‘08/1H ‘09 should AMD be able to execute to its present schedule,” the analyst said.

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