Dueling spokesmen, a correction, and the Cray XT4

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First, a correction is in order for some sloppy reporting on my part.

When I first covered this announcement I said that Cray had “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.” I even put it in the headline (now corrected). This is just wrong. What they really said was

Cray logodue 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.

I inferred the AMD part, and wrongly attributed it to Cray. I apologize.

Apparently Cray’s vagueness on exactly what part is causing the delay has caused a kerfuffle with several folks, as reported ably by The Register.

The only problem was that Cray refused to disclose which component in particular had caused the delay and failed to specify which version of AMD’s upcoming four-core family –- Barcelona or Budapest -– it will use in the new XT4s. AMD has long said that Barcelona will ship in the Summer, while the lower-end Budapest is slated to arrive in the fourth quarter.

Wall Street went into panic this morning when the Dow Jones printed a pair of stories “confirming” that a Barcelona delay was behind Cray’s issues.

Evidently a Cray spokesman offered that a “four-core processor being made for the supercomputer by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.” is the cause of the delay, but this was later refuted by another spokesman at the company who did not elaborate on what parts are delaying shipment.

Then Dow Jones quoted an industry analyst (Citigroup analyst Glen Yeung) as saying that Barcelona will be delayed to the September/ October timeframe from June/ July. From The Register again

Those of you interested in this kind of stuff will want to note that Cray won’t be using the Barcelona chips in the XT4s. The systems will run on the lower-end, latter Budapest chips.

So the Barcelona angle, though interesting, appears to be irrelevant (and still unconfirmed by AMD, by the way).


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