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Advanced Micro Devices on Monday officially confirmed that it would release triple-core central processing units (CPUs) for desktops in Q1 2008. The AMD Phenom X3 chips will help the company to offer a unique solution for personal computers (PCs), however, it is hardly going to be easy for AMD to position the new chips keeping in mind the current condition of the market.

“With our advanced multi-core architecture, AMD is in a unique position to enable a wider range of premium desktop solutions, providing a smarter choice for customers and end users. This innovation is a direct result of our development of the industry’s first true, native quad-core design, coupled with AMD’s manufacturing flexibility, to create multi-core processors in two, three, and four computational core configurations on a single die of silicon,” said Greg White, vice president and general manager, desktop division, AMD.

AMD did not unveil specifications of the new AMD Phenom triple-core microprocessors, but said that the chips will feature shared level three cache, built-in memory controller as well as HyperTransport 3.0 bus, just like the rest desktop CPUs based on the new code-named K10 micro-architecture.

Nevertheless, the company revealed that triple core processors can provide “significant performance advantages over similar dual-core AMD processors” in benchmarks like  SYSmark 2007 and 3DMark 2006, as well as “ over similar quad-core AMD processors” in certain gaming and digital content creation scenarios. While the company did not elaborate over the nature of “similarity” between dual-, triple- and quad-core processors, it is highly likely that clock-speeds of triple core CPUs will be higher than those of quad-core products, but a bit lower compared to dual-core offerings from AMD.

AMD also did not disclose whether the company’s triple-core offerings will feature quad-core silicon with one core disabled, or the chipmaker will develop a separate design with only three cores available.

But while AMD’s triple-core microprocessors will be rather unique on the market, even the current Intel’s lineup of dual-core and quad-core microprocessors may pose a threat AMD’s triple-core offering, as the price of quad-core chips begins only at $266, the price of the most advanced dual-core chip from Intel.


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