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AMD prepares three-core processors

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#1
THERE HAVE BEEN back channel stories floating around for weeks about tri-core AMD CPUs, but nothing solid. The rumours have been picking up more steam, and now they are finally solid: AMD is doing a three-core chip.
The first thing that comes to mind is bad yields, but I am told this is not the case for the three-core product lines. There may be some salvage done on bad quads, but that is not the overriding reason to do this.
The main reason is marketing, it seems AMD is learning from ATI. Most non-top SKU GPUs are simply top SKU die with features turned off, and if you look at the success of people unlocking that, you will see that it is far more than salvage.
AMD is probably doing this for two reasons; the lesser being salvage, the more important one being that Intel can't do it. Intel would have a far harder time making a tri-core part until Nehalem next September - it is easy to fuse off a core, far harder to MCM disparate cores.
This will allow AMD to come out with a lot of mid-range SKUs, having a complete 1-4 core range servicing every market. It also allows for complete market differentiation with a year or so's window into a place where Intel is not.
On the technical side, this is pretty trivial to do: three to core four is just a fuse to blow. What it gets you is a whole lot of choices. Remember the smooth run of SKUs, that was the beginning. If your clocks are thermally constrained, having three instead of four cores gives you a bin or two of speed. Given how few games use a second core fully, this might be a real win.
As far as money goes, assuming there is no salvage, three cores could still be a profit win, but it could be a loss. The selling price of a three core is greater than the price of a dual, and if that difference is greater than the manufacturing cost difference between a dual and a quad, AMD wins. If it is not, or people who would buy a quad buy a tri, then they lose.
Overall, it ends up with greater flexibility for AMD. How the firm uses it will determine whether or not this is a win, loss or draw. In any case, look for it on the consumer side, not the server first, and possibly moving over if it works out.
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#2
THERE HAVE BEEN back channel stories floating around for weeks about tri-core AMD CPUs, but nothing solid. The rumours have been picking up more steam, and now they are finally solid: AMD is doing a three-core chip.
The first thing that comes to mind is bad yields, but I am told this is not the case for the three-core product lines. There may be some salvage done on bad quads, but that is not the overriding reason to do this.
The main reason is marketing, it seems AMD is learning from ATI. Most non-top SKU GPUs are simply top SKU die with features turned off, and if you look at the success of people unlocking that, you will see that it is far more than salvage.
AMD is probably doing this for two reasons; the lesser being salvage, the more important one being that Intel can't do it. Intel would have a far harder time making a tri-core part until Nehalem next September - it is easy to fuse off a core, far harder to MCM disparate cores.
This will allow AMD to come out with a lot of mid-range SKUs, having a complete 1-4 core range servicing every market. It also allows for complete market differentiation with a year or so's window into a place where Intel is not.
On the technical side, this is pretty trivial to do: three to core four is just a fuse to blow. What it gets you is a whole lot of choices. Remember the smooth run of SKUs, that was the beginning. If your clocks are thermally constrained, having three instead of four cores gives you a bin or two of speed. Given how few games use a second core fully, this might be a real win.
As far as money goes, assuming there is no salvage, three cores could still be a profit win, but it could be a loss. The selling price of a three core is greater than the price of a dual, and if that difference is greater than the manufacturing cost difference between a dual and a quad, AMD wins. If it is not, or people who would buy a quad buy a tri, then they lose.
Overall, it ends up with greater flexibility for AMD. How the firm uses it will determine whether or not this is a win, loss or draw. In any case, look for it on the consumer side, not the server first, and possibly moving over if it works out.
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That means that I can get a Quad very very cheap? :eek:
 
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#3
sweet!
 

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#4
AMD Tri-core, hmm.. this is interesting. less latency over all the cores or something?
 

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#5
interesting, amd's getting smarter, and its going into a places intel cant, and thats a better idea then trying to compete with intel, winning for a bit and then getting kicked backed, like with the X2's.
 
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#6
Interesting, but why can't Intel do this? Let's think of it this way....Amd's quad core is 4 cores on one die. Intel's quad core is 4 cores over two dies. Now what if Intel took one of those dies and cut it in half (well separate the cache). Or do whatever Amd is planning to do to make 3 cores, but instead implement that to go from 2 cores to one core.
 

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#7
the q6600 is basically 2 e6600 cores soldered onto one chip, they cant really split a e6600...
 
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#8
the q6600 is basically 2 e6600 cores soldered onto one chip, they cant really split a e6600...
Err how is AMD going about making their tri core again? Are they going to create a tri core basically on one die? So they're not splitting it or anything? I got confused when I was reading that :banghead:
 
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#9
they take barcelona a 4 core and disable one of the cores by severing a fuze, then only 3 cores will work (with 4 still present). given the shared L3 cache it might prove to be profitable once oced. ie more performance per clock on the 3 core vs the 4 core.

all in all it's very interesting. I wonder if this'll end up being like the x800pro's and gto2's granting great sales as consumers hope that the last core is only partially bad. time will tell.
 

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#10
well i think amd is actually going to make a real tri-core chip, one thing intel cant do, because the intel quad cores are basically the cores of 2 dual core chips that have been soldered together on one chip and modified, amd is making actual quad cores you know, not just 2 dual cores put on one die lol.
 
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#11
so the cache will be bigger per core?
 

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#12
Intel can't do it easily, this is true, but they can easily release really really cheap quad-cores to compete.

There is nothing stopping them from releasing quad-cores based of their lower processors to fill the same price and performance gap that these tri-core chips are aimed at, and people will see AMD selling tri-core chips for the same price as Intel's quads and won't be happy.

Intel could start releasing Q4000 parts based off the Allendale cores, or even Q2000 parts based off the cut down Allendales.
 

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#13
q4400 based off of allendale cores, thats intel for you, strapping 2 e4400's onto a single die, thats what intel does. and intel will of course drop down the quad core price to compete with the tri core, but i think thats what amd wants. amd will get tri core sales because it'll be the only tricore company and tri cores do have an advantage, as said above somewhere.
 
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#14
This could be good or bad news. I bet that the first revisions of the Phenom x3 will just be a quad core with a disabled core. Now the question is, is AMD announcing these tri-cores because they found out that the quad core yields are not what they expected? That would be bad news, because then that would drive up the consumer costs of the Phenom x4.

However, I'm sure that if the Phenom x3 is sucessful, AMD will surely release a revision that is is intended to be tri-core. That might actually be nice because if they manufacture it just like the quad core, they will have a nice little left over gap in which they can ramp up the l3 cache.

I'm actually surprised that tri core processors are only being announced now. The Xbox 360 has the only other consumer tri core processor (albeit PPC). That is a market that could've already been taped into by either Intel or AMD.
 

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#15
heres the difference between amd quad cores and intel quad cores:

 
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#16
A native tricore doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
But crippling sub-par binning Barcelonas to 3 cores does, since all those defective Barcelonas can't be sold as they are - all thanks to the native quadcore design...
 

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#17
well thats possible to, its another thing intel cant do, cause they have the cores operating in pairs of 2, so if they cant make the cpu's run in tri core mode, amd can lol.
 
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#18
well thats possible to, its another thing intel cant do, cause they have the cores operating in pairs of 2, so if they cant make the cpu's run in tri core mode, amd can lol.
Actually, if Intel has a bad core on a e6600...couldn't they just throw the single core with a dual core? Of course this would have to have a bios flash, and along the same lines they could have a single core version of bad dual cores.
 

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#19
Actually, if Intel has a bad core on a e6600...couldn't they just throw the single core with a dual core? Of course this would have to have a bios flash, and along the same lines they could have a single core version of bad dual cores.
true, but thats not proper, if it was a bios flash, i'm sure intel would start losing money if everybody could just flash their tricore cpu's to a quad one. and they cant make an actual proper tri core one, so basically amd is going to win this race. those the prize isn't that great.
 
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#20
true, but thats not proper, if it was a bios flash, i'm sure intel would start losing money if everybody could just flash their tricore cpu's to a quad one. and they cant make an actual proper tri core one, so basically amd is going to win this race. those the prize isn't that great.
Well I mean like bios flash to support tri cores, not to go from tri to quad. Anyways, I don't think Intel is going to do that because they're rolling out 45 nm soon and they'll be able to drop prices below current ones.
 
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#21
well thats possible to, its another thing intel cant do, cause they have the cores operating in pairs of 2, so if they cant make the cpu's run in tri core mode, amd can lol.
What makes you think Intel can't disable the other core in a C2D?
Infact they've been doing exactly that for some time already.
 
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#22
Well I mean like bios flash to support tri cores, not to go from tri to quad. Anyways, I don't think Intel is going to do that because they're rolling out 45 nm soon and they'll be able to drop prices below current ones.
therefore who cares?? Intel >>>>AMD
 

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#23
the more important one being that Intel can't do it. Intel would have a far harder time making a tri-core part until Nehalem next September - it is easy to fuse off a core, far harder to MCM disparate cores.
O RLY?
 
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Software Windows 7 x64 / Windows 7 x64 / Windows 7 x64
#24
Newtekkie i just copy pasted........
 

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Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#25
I know, it wasn't directed at you, or meant in a bad way, I was just saying it is actually a lot easier than the article makes it out to be.