updated 10:15 am EST, Wed February 25, 2009
AMD 6 Core Opteron Soon
AMD Business Development head John Fruehe late yesterday confirmed plans for his company's first 6-core processor. Nicknamed "Istanbul," a variant of the company's current 45 nanometer Opteron processors is due in the second half of this year and should provide significantly more simultaneous computing power without hurting power use. Fruehe claims tests show the same levels of energy and heat as for existing quad-core Opterons.
The new design should also theoretically represent a major advance for AMD chips as a whole. Although it uses the same socket format as existing Opterons, it should also support a new Direct Connect architecture that lets multiple processors talk to each other quickly. The approach will let systems work with as many as 48 cores (8 processors) without communication bogging down between the relevant chips. A new HyperTransport Assist feature should also improve memory bandwidth between processors and RAM.
AMD hasn't publicly discussed the technical details of the processors themselves and also hasn't said when it expects 6-core Phenom II parts to appear for mainstream desktops.