AMD: 12-Core CPUs Coming Early 2010

Quad-core not as good as Magny Cours.

AMD has previously released details about its forthcoming 12-core CPU design, codenamed Magny-Cours (a fairly weak pun if you ask me), but details are now being firmed up regarding release schedules. The upshot is that we can expect 12-core processors form AMD in Q1 2010.

AMD is apparently now set to release a six-core ‘Istanbul’ CPU in June of this year, built on its 45nm manufacturing process and destined for servers. Then in 2010 the 12-core Magny Cours processors will debut, alongside an eight-core model.

Finally 2011 is to see the die shrink to 32nm in the guise of Interlagos, in 12-core and 16-core versions. Intel, meanwhile should have accomplished its 32nm transition – the tick to fllow the tock of Nehalem – before the end of this year with eight-core chips at hand.

To use a different slant: Intel may (arguably if we’re being pedantic) have the advantage architecturally, but AMD wants to beat Intel in the race to cram ever more cores onto a single die. Given these chips are aimed at the server market, where the multi-threading ability of many-core chips is of some use, that’s not such a crazy strategy as it may seem; even if improving per-core performance is a more ‘elegant’ solution – in my opinion at least.

When these niche products will result in mainstream products in unknown, but at the proposed rate of progression, we may finally be able to play Crysis by 2015 – hurrah!

Wall Street Journal.

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