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Advanced Micro Devices late on Wednesday unveiled the world’s first x86 desktop microprocessors. The announcement is purely formal as earlier the company already confirmed that it had begun shipments of its AMD Phenom X3 processors to customers among large system builders.

“AMD understands that today’s PC applications are best accelerated with a range of multi-core products from quad- to triple- to dual-core processors, and that’s why we now deliver the broadest multi-core desktop lineup in the industry,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president of strategic marketing at AMD.

AMD Phenom X3 8000 triple-core microprocessors are based on AMD’s latest micro-architecture and have 1.5MB level-two cache (512KB per core) as well as 2MB of unified level-three cache. Initially AMD ships only two models: AMD Phenom X3 8400 at 2.10GHz and AMD Phenom X3 8600 at 2.30GHz. Both models are based on the B2 stepping of the Phenom chips which feature well-known TLB erratum which is fixed by BIOS or software update.

The world’s second largest maker of x86 microprocessors does not produce specially-designed chips with three cores, but disables a core in its quad-core AMD Phenom microprocessors, which substantially improves manufacturing efficiency of the company and allows it to sell chips with a [disabled] processing engine that does not work properly.

At first AMD Phenom X3 microprocessors will be positioned as cost-efficient multi-core solutions for users not seeking for ultimate performance in games and other demanding applications, but in the next few quarters the clock-speed of AMD Phenom X3 chips will gain clock-speed and become a good choice for gamers, said Leslie Sobon, director of desktop product marketing for AMD.

The number of chip models as well as shipments of triple-core AMD Phenom X3 microprocessors will also improve greatly in the incoming quarters as AMD plans to aggressively ramp up manufacturing of multi-core chips, Ms. Sobon said. Nevertheless, she acknowledged that single-core and dual-core microprocessors will still dominate shipments of AMD’s central processing units.

The AMD Phenom X3 8400 will be priced in the neighborhood of ~$150 and the model X3 8600 will cost around $175, AMD said. The company does not reveal exact pricing as the chips are available for system integrators only.

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