Early this morning supercomputer make Cray, Inc. issued a press release warning that delays in the availability of AMD’s forthcoming quad-core processors will likely negatively effect it’s financials this year, and may even drive a loss for the year. [This statement by me is just wrong: Cray didn't specify it was the AMD part that's late; see this update for more on this. I also corrected this post's misleading title.]
The company announced in a press release issued this morning that
due to recent information with respect to the timing of volume parts availability, the company now believes that 2007 revenue associated with quad-core Cray XT4 systems will likely be less than previously anticipated. Cray continues to anticipate deliveries of quad-core Cray XT4 systems and upgrades to begin during the fourth quarter of 2007; however, the timing is such that most or all of the planned acceptances, and associated revenue recognition, will likely be deferred until early 2008.
So acceptance of systems in competitions that Cray has already won will be delayed by late quad-core hardware (“volume parts availability”) from AMD. It’s possible that Cray is using a different bin from what AMD is making available to consumer purchasers of the Barcelona technology, so that this might not impact the broader market. It’s also possible that Cray was given a range of dates for availability and planned on the earlier one, not the later one. At any rate there is no news from AMD on a new delay at this time.
In the release the company now forecasts 2007 of no higher than $200 million, below Wall Street expectations.
According to the AP
Seattle-based Cray also warned that it may post a yearly loss, which pushed shares down $1.23, or 15.5 percent, to $6.71 in the early session. The stock finished at $7.94 in regular trading Friday.
Update: reader Jay Cliburn pointed me to an article in the Inquirer that details that it’s likely Budapest, not Barcelona, that’s causing Cray’s problems, though I haven’t seen that level of detail from the company. This makes sense, though: Budapest is the Barcelona core with HyperTransport 3.0, which a supercomputer needs. From the Inquirer’s piece:
So, what about Q4/07 and Q1/08? Well, that is the interesting part, it is the other new core for the year. The Q4/07 part is called Budapest, and it is the Barcelona core with HT3.0 in 12xx Opteron and A64 guise. The core should be done well within the alloted time frames, but its introduction may be delayed due chipset availability. Basically, this is the first major update to HT, and people may miss windows.
The next major part is called Shanghai, it is simply the 22xx and 82xx version of Budapest. It is being delayed to Q1/08, possibly Q2 because of the aforementioned chipset availability and likely increased validation needs. Lets just say you should see Shanghai in 1H/08.