Barcelona to turn AMD around

Barcelona to turn AMD around

New quad core Opteron processors offer salvation

Despite posting a $US611 million loss in its chip-manufacturing business during the first quarter of 2007, the local boss of AMD is buoyant about the future.

Country manager, Caleb Leung, told ARN that the forthcoming release of next generation Opteron processors - codenamed Barcelona - would start to turn things around.

"We've just celebrated the fourth anniversary of the Opteron and now we're readying this new quad core version," he said. "We'll put out a server version first, then a workstation version. It will be a very good product for us."

Overseas, AMD chief operating officer, Dirk Meyer, has already taken out his red pen in response to the company's losses, slashing discretionary spending by $US100 million annually and making further cuts in hiring.

"We plan to leave the year with a lower headcount than we have now," he said in a Web cast with investors. He declined to say whether that statement was a hint about pending layoffs.

Echoing Leung's comments, however, Meyer is also betting at least some of the company's future on Barcelona.

"We know we cannot cut our way to prosperity," he said, indicating the company's hopes for the new processor range.

AMD has already begun shipping pre-production samples of the new chip to computer vendors during this first quarter and plans to ship production samples in the second quarter. Vendors are expected to launch both desktops and servers using Barcelona chips in the third quarter.

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