AMD Introduces Long-Delayed Multi-Core Chips

AMD today announced the availability of its Phenom quad-core microprocessors, consumer-oriented desktop processors that the company had originally expected to ship in January. The company also announced the release of a new line of triple-core processors and an energy-efficient quad core chip.

AMD's quad-core Phenom microprocessors are technically superior to Intel's quad-core designs in that they are "true" quad-core CPU packages; Intel, meanwhile, essentially stitches two dual-core chips together, a process that introduces performance inefficiencies. But AMD's more elegant design has had a rockier release schedule. After announcing the chips in November, AMD delayed the broad release of Phenom from January because a design flaw.

That flaw has been rectified, AMD says, and the company is now shipping 2.3 and 2.5 GHz versions of the Phenom X4 9000 Series chips, the higher-end version of which is "unlocked" so that computing enthusiasts can tune the performance even higher.

AMD had other announcements today as well. The company is shipping the first triple-core CPU, the Phenom X3 8000 series, which it says offers a 30 percent performance boost over dual-core designs. AMD also announced the availability of its energy-efficient quad-core Phenom X4 9100e microprocessor, which operates at a maximum of 65 watts. AMD says the chip can be used in space-saving, energy-efficient "green" PCs.

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