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The code-named Zosma processors – quad-core chips based on the Thuban design with six cores – may never find themselves in the retail market. The chips, with potentially unlockable cores, are currently only aimed at original equipment manufacturers, said Advanced Micro Devices. However, going forward everything is possible…

“AMD sends out engineering samples to our partners to help them prepare for future products.  Sometimes there are engineering samples sent that do not represent a processor that will see general availability. AMD Phenom II X4 960T is likely one of those processors. There is always a possibility that it could be an OEM-only SKU. AMD Phenom II X4 960T is not currently planned for general availability,” said Damon Muzny, a spokesman for AMD.

AMD Phenom II 960T “Zosma” processor was supposed to be a derivative of the six-core AMD Phenom II X6 “Thuban” chips with two cores disabled. Back in the past advanced mainboards allowed enthusiasts to re-enable disabled cores inside quad-core and triple-core processors without any instabilities caused by that, which meant free performance. However, this is not going to be the case with Zosma processors, at least, any time soon.

“I have long-since learned the dangers of saying ‘never’ in this industry. I would like to to set correct expectations on the possibility of a quad-core derivative of ‘Thuban’ in the channel any time soon,” added Mr. Muzny.

AMD Phenom II X4 960T processor with four cores operates at 3.00GHz clock-speed, has maximum TurboCore speed of 3.40GHz, 2MB of L2 cache and 6MB L2 cache, integrated dual-channel DDR2/DDR3 memory controller, comes in AM3 form-factor, has thermal design power of 95W and is made using 45nm process technology.

The reason why AMD decided to either postpone the launch of the Zosma chip on the retail/channel market or even cancel it is rather simple. The company needs to sell more expensive six-core chips and availability of Zosma central processing units (CPUs) would attract attention of enthusiasts. Without the quad-core version of Thuban, customers, who would like to have a six-core chips will have to buy AMD Phenom II X6 microprocessors.

Tags: AMD, Thuban, Zosma, Phenom, 45nm

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