About one year ago, pretty much all tech publications were speculating about a possible launch date of the quad-core Opteron processor, code-named “Barcelona.” Back then, AMD officially communicated a H2 2007 and later a Q3 2007 launch target. When confronted with rumors about delays and possible availability issues, we were told that AMD would launch the processor when the product is in fact available in vendor systems.
One year later, AMD and pretty much everyone else in this industry knows how much can go wrong when launching a product. Unfortunately, AMD was hit with several roadblocks it could have and could not have avoided and now, seven months after the official launch, we are finally seeing the Opteron systems that should have been available in September 10. Talk about a paper launch.
AMD formally announced the availability of quad-core Opteron systems using B3 Barcelona processors (B3 is the Barcelona stepping that resolves the TLB bug) today. The CPU was announced almost exactly seven months ago, on September 10. The problematic B2 stepping was introduced on October 3 and a delay in deliveries was confirmed by the company following the discovery of the TLB bug in early December. On December 13, the company said it will ‘fix’ the bug and said on January 17 that ‘fixed’ Barcelonas were coming off production lines.
HP was mentioned as the first company to be offering B3 Barcelonas in its ProLiant G5 systems. AMD said that a total of eight OEM platforms using the processors are now available, but did not provide further information which systems these are.
AMD told us that the B3 Barcelona processors are available now in volume.