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AMD has made no secret of their plans to release at least one six-core desktop processor in 2010, codenamed Thuban. Intel on the other hand hasn't been as forthcoming, but thanks to numerous leaks, and even some early benchmark results, we do know the company has a 32nm six-core chip up its sleeve, which is dubbed Gulftown and will be branded as Core i7 980X.
DigiTimes has come up with a little more information regarding their respective launch schedules and products. Citing anonymous sources at motherboard makers, the site reports that Intel will kick off the hexacore deluge with its Core i7 980X at the end of March. It is expected to be priced at around $1,000, as usual for their flagship parts, featuring 3.3 - 3.6HGz clock speeds and a whopping 12MB of L3 cache.
This will be followed by three AMD Phenom II X6 1000T processors in May which are expected to be compatible with existing AM2+ and AM3 motherboards. DigiTimes specifically lists the Phenom II X6 1075T, 1055T and 1035T, all 45nm process chips, and says they will be preceded by compatible 890FX (RD890) and 890GX(RS880D) chipsets in April.
Further details about AMD's upcoming Phenom II X6 processors are a little scant, but rumors suggest they will house 3MB of L2 and 6MB of L3 cache. In terms of performance, they should compete for a completely different market, perhaps taking on Intel's Lynnfield Core i5 and i7 CPUs. The company is also expected to announce a new quad-core chip, the Phenom II X4 960T, alongside its hexacores.