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Analyst spots glitch on AMD Puma platform

Posted: 15 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Puma platform? AMD glitch? Barcelona?

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. may be facing issues with its new Puma line of devices for notebook PCs, according to analyst Doug Freedman of American Technology Research Inc. This is another blow for company which last year admitted a glitch on its Barcelona quad-core chips.

AMD announced last year the Griffin CPU, the first processor it has designed from the ground up for notebooks. AMD is pairing its new CPU with a chipset in a Puma platform that aims to take on Intel's Centrino chips for sockets in high-end notebooks.

The Puma platform is slated to ship in Q2 and AMD insists the product is on track. But one analyst has a slightly different viewpoint.

"Our channel checks suggest AMD's Puma platform for notebooks may have a technical glitch. We have not been able to confirm this with AMD and if a problem exists, AMD could have a fix in the works that saves the launch," said Freedman, in a new report.

"That said, we believe OEMs are attempting to seek alternate solutions," he said. "As a result, we are lowering our estimates on AMD. Our longer term thesis that AMD shares reflect most of the public bad news remains intact."

Still on track
AMD denied that there are any issues with Puma. "I wanted to make sure you understood that the note was written (from Freedman) before getting AMD's comment or response," according to a spokesperson from AMD.

"AMD is not aware of any technical glitches with its next-generation notebook platform, codenamed 'Puma.' Per our commitment at the AMD Financial Analyst Day in December 2007, the 'Puma' platform remains on track for Q2 2008," the spokesperson said.

"Doubling the design wins over the AMD Turion 64 X2 processor launch, AMD expects a record number of powerful AMD notebook solutions available from all of our key OEM customers beginning in Q2," she added, referring to its Turion line of processors for notebooks.

Lowered estimates
Still, the possible setback could represent the latest problem at troubled AMD. In September, Freedman lowered his estimates on AMD amid snags with its new quad-core, microprocessor line, Barcelona. The processor is based on 65nm technology.

As a result of the problems with Puma, Freedman is lowering his September and December quarterly revenue estimates from $1.762 billion and $1.938 billion to $1.615 billion and 1.785 billion, respectively.

"As a result of a slightly lower gross margin and the revenue cut, our 2008 net-loss estimate increases from $0.41 to $0.75. For 2009, we lower our revenue estimate to $7.411 billion from $8.049 billion," he said. "Our 2009 EPS estimate declines from $0.43 to a loss of $0.07."

AMD recently reported a Q4 net loss of $1.77 billion, or minus $3.06 per share, compared with a year-ago net loss of $576.0 million, or minus $1.08, per share. Revenue was $1.77 billion, unchanged from a year ago.

AMD posted a net loss of $396 million, or minus $0.71 cents per share, for the three months ended September 30.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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