With its Spider platform finally out the door in quad-core form, it seems about time that we should get more news about what's happening with AMD's rumoured tri-core processors. How convenient then that the folks over at DailyTech have managed to secure just that. Importantly, we now know that the first chips should be available around February next year.
Initially, the Phenom 8000-series will, as speculated, be a full quad-core package with one core disabled, with the 2.4GHz Phenom 8700 and 2.3GHz Phenom 8600 arriving first. When AMD moves to its 45nm process late next year the first parts will be all quad-core, with tri-core variants coming in 2009. Unlike the first run of tri-cores, these chips will come in two different versions, some with the shared Level 3 cache on the current Phenoms and some without. Both DDR2 and DDR3 are also supposed to be supported.
Dual-core chips in 2009 will also support DDR2 and DDR3; however quad-core parts will be DDR3 only, as they are being targeted at the performance market. Looking over the details, it seems that although the initial tri-core offerings are indeed crippled quad-core parts, the 45nm variants have more in common with the dual-core chips, especially in terms of memory support. Given the amount of time until the chips emerge, these details are bound to change but a rough idea of what's coming is always better than no idea.