A week after unveiling its Phenom quad-core processor, AMD has announced a tri-core variant.
Otherwise identical in every respect to the quad-core version, with 512KB of level 2 cache per core and 3MB of shared level 3 cache, the new processor is yet to be named. AMD is also yet to reveal pricing or power and performance details.
"We're adding a triple-core processor to the roadmap to give the customers more choice", Giuseppe Amato, AMD's European technical director for sales and marketing, told ZDNet.co.uk. "It will fit between dual- and quad-cores, but not exactly in the middle."
Amato said that the new processor was primarily intended for consumer desktops and that it would work in all existing quad-core-compatible motherboards without modification. He added that it will be available in the first quarter of 2008.
The new chip will have four physical cores, one of which will be disabled. It is common semiconductor-industry practice to sell partially faulty products as lower specification items while production problems are being sorted out, or when the producer wants to create a market for lower-cost products without starting up a separate fabrication line for them.
Amato denied that there were any production problems and said that the new product was created in response to demand. "We don't have any yield problem at all," he said. "We can't make everyone happy in a day: there's a queue. Our customers and the end users were requesting a more linear offering."