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AMD won’t make Barcelona mistakes again

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A senior AMD executive has admitted that the company made mistakes with the launch of its Barcelona range of processors, but says that it has learned the lessons well and won't make the same mistakes in the future.

On a fleeting vistit to South Africa, Guiseppe Amatao, technical director, sales and marketing EMEA, said the problems that dogged Barcelona have now been ironed out and the experience will stand AMD in good stead with upcoming product set launches.
"With Barcelona we learnt a lot in terms of execution efficiencies," Amato says. "I don't want to give justification because execution is execution and anything I say would just sound like an excuse. But the engineering management and platform management got a clear message. They understand what went wrong, what happened, and they have taken action to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
"The only justification I could give is that it [Barcelona] is a complex design – 650-million transistors – so it is not a piece of cake."
Amato says that in the rush to get Barcelona to market, certain procedures weren't followed. This resulted in manufacturing problems and a shortage of supply to expectant OEMs and channel partners.
"In future, we will have a better understanding of execution time – in terms that it cannot be shrunk," he says. "There is always pressure from certain quarters to make products faster but, like a woman needs nine months for a baby, there are tasks that are sequential and that need to occur during the process.
"We are reviewing our roadmaps and they are already reflecting realistic execution," he adds. "We will not have this situation again.
"Even as we speak, executives are going out to the regions apologising to customers and the channel," he says. "Right from the top there is a clear commitment to customers that AMD will never do the same again. And we won't get a second opportunity from shareholders who can be very unforgiving.
"We will now measure accountability of execution [for future products] and what we are doing in Q1 and Q2 will reflect a realistic execution plan."