3D, AMD, Business, Companies, Hardware

AMD delays Leo platform to end of 2009?

We hope to see good news coming from AMD, but lately we seem to be out of luck. According to Fudzilla, AMD decided to postpone the introduction of RD890/SB850 chipset. At present, status of RS880/SB810 is unknown, but it is more than likely that this chipset joined the delayed RD890/SB850. As you probably know, RD890 is a successor to 790FX (RD790), while RS880 is supposed to succeed 790GX (RS790). Only difference between RD and RS chipsets is the presence of integrated graphics, but more importantly, both RS880/RD890 were key components for the Leo platform.

Leo is on course for being late the whole year...

Leo is on course for being late the whole year...

According to original plans, AMD’s platform challenge was consisted out of Spider, Leo and Python. When K10 (Barcelona/Agena) hit delays, AMD introduced Dragon to the roadmap, combination of 790FX/GX chipset with DDR3-compliant Socket AM3. When AMD realized that they are unable to launch Phenom II with DDR3 at first, Dragon was named 7-series chipset, Radeon 4000 series GPU and Phenom II – thus putting AM2+ chipsets in the frame as well. “Original” Dragon platform debuted yesterday, with the introduction of AM3 processors, and our sources were implying that AMD is doubtful about launching the Leo platform in time.

According to the story mentioned above, motherboard makers were skeptical with a reason, since AMD decided to postpone Leo to Q4’2009. This is a slippery slope, because there is inherit danger that Leo misses the design phase for HP, Dell and others – all those Windows 7 powered computers for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and Christmas may go without AMD Phenom II + Leo if company misses the boat. In 2007, AMD missed the Q4 design window and decided to launch Phenom+Spider in channel alone, limiting the platform’s potential. In 2008, everything was about fixing the Phenom II and chipset guys couldn’t finish Dragon platform because the CPU was missing out, and it looks like 2009 is a year of issues on the chipset site. We wish AMD all the best and hope that for once, every piece of the puzzle will fit in place with Leo or Python (Bulldozer+DDR3+DX11). AMD needs to get following right for Leo:

  • New Phenom II processors
  • DirectX 11 GPU – mainstream and high-end discrete parts
  • RD890/SB850 – update the SB with USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 spec

This would be a money maker for AMD. If they get 3 out of 3, AMD can be forgiven for being a full year late with Leo.