Quad-Core with Defective Core?
AMD spokespeople have said that the company's technology, such as its Direct Connect Architecture, which directly connects the cores together and allows for better communication between the memory controller and the I/O, enables AMD to create triple-core chips instead of following the standard one-, two- and four-core models. However, some analysts say the tri-core is a quad-core processor with a defective core shut off and repackaged. This approach would give AMD better yields from its manufacturing facilities, since chip defects, especially inoperable cores, are common.It now seems likely that AMD's quad-core processor will hit 3.0GHz sometime later this year, when the company makes a switch from a 65-nanometer processor to a 45-nm manufacturing process, which should give the chips a 20 percent performance boost. AMD has said that its triple-core chip will offer 30 percent better performance than more standard dual-core processors. Read more here about AMD's 45-nm manufacturing process. Intel already offers several models in its Core 2 Extreme line with four processing cores and clock speeds as high as 3.2GHz. The company does not offer a chip with three processing cores. AMD is planning to pair the Phenom X3 processors with its own 780 series chip sets, while the quad-core chips work with the 790 series chip sets. The company is also offering a choice of ATI graphics chips.
In addition to tri-core processors, AMD will roll out four Phenom X4 quad-core models-9850, 9750, 9650 and 9550-that have clock speeds ranging from 2.5GHz to 2.2GHz, 2MB of L2 cache and a shared 2MB of L3 cache. There is also the Phenom X4 9100e model, which runs at 1.8GHz but works within a 65-watt thermal envelope.