Advanced Micro Devices' said that triple-core processors would continue to be a part of its offerings. While it is unclear how AMD could make a triple-core chip based on its Bulldozer micro-architecture, the comment may indicate that AMD will have triple-core K10.5-based chips for a long time after the introduction of Bulldozer.
"In most instances dual-core computing was adequate for the majority of users and with an additional core to service the OS, one of the more significant bottlenecks was addressed. Triple-core processors continue to address customer and consumer needs by delivering great performance at great prices. As long as the industry and market find value in these products and request them - AMD will address the need," said Matt Davis, an AMD product marketing manager for desktop solutions, in an interview with Hardwareheaven web-site.
AMD's Bulldozer architecture and topology employs a number of so-called modules. Every module has two independent integer cores (that share fetch, decode and L2 functionality) with dedicated schedulers, one "Flex FP" floating point unit with two 128-bit FMAC pipes with one FP scheduler. While it is clear that AMD can disable a dual-core module within a many-core chip, it is uncertain whether it can disable one integer core.
Unofficial sources pointed to six-core and quad-core Bulldozer products back in November '10, but there were no indications about triple-core or five-core chips based on Bulldozer design.
Triple-core AMD Athlon II and AMD Phenom II chips powered by K10.5 micro-architecture are available now. Moreover, nothing keeps AMD from selling such chips in mid-term future. The indication that the company will sell them as long as the market wishes to buy them may point to a fairly long transition to Bulldozer from the current-generation architecture.