Saturday, October 6, 2007

AMD launching the world’s first triple-core processor in Q1 2008

AMD throttles back with first triple-core processor
Phenom chip designed to outperform dual-core silicon, but undercut quad-core prices

AMD plans to buck the trend for dual-core and quad-core processors by launching the world’s first triple-core processor early next year.

The AMD Phenom triple-core chip for desktop PCs will be the first to integrate three computational cores on a single die of silicon. AMD’s quad-core Phenom chips are set to arrive before the end of the year.

AMD said there is a market for a triple-core processor, especially given the slow take-up of expensive quad-core processors to date.

According to Mercury Research, quad-core chips represented less than two per cent of desktop shipments in the second quarter of 2007. AMD believes it will have more success with a processor that delivers more power than dual-core chips, but at a more acceptable price than its quad-core counterparts.
“With our advanced multi-core architecture, AMD is in a position to enable a wider range of premium desktop solutions, providing a smarter choice for customers and end users,” said Greg White, vice president and general manager of AMD’s desktop division.

“This innovation is a direct result of our development of the industry’s first true, native quad-core design, coupled with our manufacturing flexibility to create multi-core processors in two, three and four computational core configurations on a single die of silicon.”

Bill Mitchell, corporate vice president of the Windows Hardware Ecosystem at Microsoft, said: “We see potential for improvements through triple-core processing in the industry and are exploring with AMD the possibility of taking advantage of this in the Microsoft family of products.”

The triple-core processor uses the same Direct Connect Architecture as AMD’s quad-core chips. It will have an integrated memory controller and use AMD’s Balanced Smart Cache for rapid access to memory, with a shared L3 cache for faster performance with multi-threaded applications.

AMD will target it at the business and performance consumer markets. Its chip has up to 16Gbit/s of bandwidth I/O for high-definition video and gaming applications.

AMD said that early Sysmark 2007 and 3DMark 2006 benchmark scores were higher than for its dual-core chips and even the quad-core chips on some applications.

“The advent of triple-core processors is a valuable market opportunity for the channel to deliver compelling solutions to end users and further differentiate themselves within the desktop PC market,” said Richard Shim, research manager for IDC’s personal computing programme.

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