FiringSquad: With your transition to 0.09-micron next year have you seen any hesitation from any of your traditional partners or customers to adopt today’s Athlon 64/Opteron processors?
Henri Richard: Well you know die size is not a concern for most customers. As long as you have a roadmap that’s clear and of course as long as you can control your thermals that’s not an issue.
I think that what’s really been a problem for us is that if we didn’t show OEMs and partners that we have a credible roadmap, both from a technology perspective and also the manufacturing perspective I think people are going to be concerned with the situation for AMD but we’re very strong. We have a technology partnership with IBM and a clear roadmap to 90, 65 and 45 nanometer from a technology perspective and we’ve announced Fab 36, which will be our first 300mm fab and at 65 nanometer.
So we now have both from a technology perspective and a manufacturing capacity perspective a very credible story extending well into 2008, so we’re capable of making the right products and the right quality and so as long as you have that, you know the customer, that’s all they’re interested in, you know, what they buy today, as long as it meets their needs today they’re not really worried about the size of the transistor.
FiringSquad: AMD will be moving over to a new socket for Athlon 64 FX next year, while Socket A was the predominant interface for Athlon, Athlon XP, and Duron. How would you respond to critics that point out Socket 940’s short lifetime?
Henri Richard: Well I think that clearly we’re not going to forget what worked for us in the past and the fact that we had such a stable infrastructure on Socket A is something that we’re going to work harder at remembering and making sure we build into future Athlon 64 products. I see us going there more and more at this point in time and I feel comfortable in saying that we’re not going to go and do what our competition is doing which is changing architectures every six months. So unfortunately for Athlon 64 we had to do one change. I believe that the 939-pin package has a lot of life in it and we’ll make sure that that package is stable and that we’ll make it last as long as the technology allows us too.
FiringSquad: AMD offered a single socket interface for its value, desktop, and server/workstation processors in the past. Why didn’t AMD centralize Athlon 64/Athlon 64 FX/Opteron on one socket interface from the start? Did cost or your chipset partners play a role here?
Henri Richard: Well, when it’s all said and done we’ll only have two types of sockets. It’s impossible to combine the performance [inaudible] and [inaudible] of a workstation/server class product and to a certain degree, you know, an FX-class product. On one side there’s one end of the spectrum and on the other end of the spectrum you have the cost sensitive, good performance, value and mainstream product.
I wish we could build a single infrastructure, it’s just that it’s not going to happen because, you know, the number of layers on the motherboard are different, and memory structures are different, so our customer base is going to have to accept that there’s at least two different infrastructures to support a broad range of solutions. But again I want to reemphasize the fact that that we’re not forgetting the lessons of the past and we’re not forgetting to listen to our customers and we understand how important it is to not jerk the market around and change the infrastructure on them too often.
My belief again is that on both cases um, you know, the infrastructures on the market are going to last as long as the technology allows us to make them last.