AMD confirms hexa-core desktop chip, Thuban

By on September 22, 2009, 3:54 PM
AMD has confirmed that it is planning to release a consumer-grade six-core desktop processor next year -- even more, it will be backwards compatible with existing AM2+ and AM3 motherboards. A company spokesman took a jab at Intel, saying AMD is "all about platform longevity and long-lived upgrade paths," unlike its rival, which has an affinity for rolling out new socket specs. The news came just prior to the launch of Intel's IDF event.

Codenamed Thuban, the chip will squeeze all six cores onto a single 45nm die. Thuban is derived from the hexa-core Opteron released earlier this year, and will feature an integrated DDR3 controller. It will likely have lower clock frequencies than AMD's current quad core parts, is expected to house 3MB of L2 and 6MB of L3 cache, and be pushed to market as a Phenom II X6 -- but those tidbits aren't official.

Based on the Opteron's specs, MaxiumPC speculates that Thuban will be a 346mm2 chip with a massive 904 million transistors. For reference, Intel's Core i7 975 Extreme Edition has 731 million transistors on a 262mm2 die, and the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 758 million on a 258mm2 die.

AMD's hexa-core desktop CPU won't debut until sometime next year, and probably won't arrive before Intel's Gulftown.




User Comments: 22

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

You know, all these extra core processors are nice. But they really don't mean squat until software developers start taking advantage of it. Even now there are only a handful of products that utilize quad-core technology.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Makes me feel a little behind with my dual core.

poundsmack said:

they are putting out the foundations of which developers can start coding for. pioneering a trail in a horse and buggy is a lot easier when the roads are already laid down.

Guest said:

Its funny how amd says there all about platform longevity when have released the socket 754, socket 940, socket 939 in a span of like 2 years max

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Its funny how amd says there all about platform longevity when have released the socket 754, socket 940, socket 939 in a span of like 2 years max

Agreed, Intel has had 775 for how many years now? 5 years about, maybe more. Only now they are expanding due to new architectures. I'm sure AM4 is just around the corner anyways...

BlindObject said:

I'm still extremely happy with my Dual core e8500. I haven't even overclocked it yet, actually, I doubt I ever used this to the max yet.

Punkid said:

intel is wayyyy better than AMD

Guest said:

intel is wayyyy better than AMD

[citation needed]

Guest said:

Socket 939 has been out nearly 5 years, I have a machine with an FX55 that is socket 939, Get your facts straight.

Guest said:

Oh btw the FX55 was the first 64 bit Windows compatible processor. dual core, quad core, hexa core all = much ado about nothing to me. I could care less about keeping up with everyone and have the latest and greatest cause tomorrow they are yesterdays news. As long as what I have does what I need thats all that matters.

http://tbreak.com/reviews/article.php?id=335

Guest said:

U said Everything !

i3rucei3ruce said:

2 years? 939 was out well before even the geforce 6800 craze, man!

Guest said:

Nice, but what use has it when Symantec AntiVir blocks my PC for 2-3 min, because it needs to update its signatures and eat up all "HDD-Time" of my notebook ... At current PCs (and particulary notebooks) the bottleneck is the HDD not the CPU.

Guest said:

But they really don't mean squat until software developers start taking advantage of it. Even now there are only a handful of products that utilize quad-core technology

Linux has been taking advantage of Multi-Core processors for more than 5 years.

When is Windows going to catch up?

T77 T77 said:

its good to see that the new processor would be backwards compatible,saves one from investing in a new mobo.well it seems AMD is gearing up both in the cpu as well as the gpu segment.

OneArmedScissor said:

There is plenty of stuff that uses 6+ cores.

It's not video games and run of the mill desktop applications, though. Those things don't need them, hence the "lack of support."

This isn't just AMD trying to keep up with the Joneses. While they will undoubtedly be a bit more expensive than quad-cores, they won't be $999, like Intel's sole desktop hexa-core. They will be a good deal to people who can use them. I wish they had them right now, but oh well.

Guest said:

Did I ever say 939 lasted 2 years... no, I said amd released 3 chipsets in a span of 2 years.

Then there was AM2 and AM2+ in a span of what, 1 year... Well, i'm a bit dusty after 939 so i'll stop here.

I'm not saying Intel is any better, but i'm just making a point that AMD doesn't have a real good history of platform logetivity.

Guest said:

AMD's new socket AM3 CPU's are backwards compatible with AM2+

Thus not having to upgrade to a new Motherboard and RAM is a great value.

Guest said:

As was said in the first post, the number of cores won't be relevant unless applications take advantage of multiprocessing. Intel circumvented this problem with Turbo Boost, it would be nice to see a similar solution in AMD processors (if there isn't one already).

Guest said:

Good thing that they're going to release the 6-core, both from Intel and AMD. This would bring down prices on quad-cor processors, and should benefit consumers. But I favor AMD over the Intel based on performance/price.

Guest said:

Yeah, its a real problem with the windows platform. Linux, however, will make full use of the new processor....

Guest said:

Technologies moving too fast..... Just haven't had enough time to "adapt" or utilize it. Blood hell.... Makes me sick..

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