Rumors, leaked pictures, and supposed specifications of a tri-core Llano APU have been floating around the Web since early July, and if you had any lingering doubts that this chip was real, you can put them to rest. AMD just sent us word that it's new tri-core A6 3500 APU is shipping now and is available for less than a C-note. Confirmed specs after the break.
This is why we love technology. While the world salivates over the concept of dual-core processors in mobile applications like smartphones and tablets, Marvell goes and introduces the first ever 1.5GHz tri-core ARM processor, the AMRADA 628.
The ARMADA 628 is a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design with three ARM-compliant CPU cores, two of which are high performance symmetric multiprocessing cores, while the third is optimized for ultra-low power. It also boasts a bit of 3D muscle.
"Marvell has once again set the benchmark for the rest of the industry with the world's first 1.5GHz tri-core processor, delivering dual stream 1080p 3D video and 3D graphics performance with quad unified shaders for 200 million triangles per second delivered on ultra-low power, long battery life smartphones and tablets," said Weili Dai, Marvell, Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of Marvell Semiconductor's Consumer and Computing Business Unit. "This is important because today's consumers expect robust enterprise and consumer applications delivered to the palm of their hands."
Marvell likens the tri-core architecture to that of a hybrid muscle car. The chip can "perform like a race car engine on demand, while still delivering the frugal gas mileage of a hybrid automobile." In real-world numbers, Marvell says the ARMADA 628 can churn out 10 hours of full 1080p HD video or 140 hours of music on a single charge, all the while providing 3GHz of computational horsepower.
The 450 will supplant the 445 as AMD's flagship tri-core part, bumping up the clockspeed from 3.1GHz to 3.2GHz. It will come with 1.5MB cache (512KB per core), and is really just a faster clocked version of the 445.
No word on how much the new part will cost, but reports suggest it will slide into the 445's $85 price point, while bumping down the slower clocked part to $77.
AMD recently announced a bunch of new processors, including its first triple-core Athlon II chip, and coming soon, the CPU maker will also release a tri-core part for notebooks, Fudzilla says.
Planned as part of the Danube platform, the upcoming Phenom II triple-core N820 mobile processor will essentially be a quad-core part with one of the cores disabled. It will carry a 35W TDP and come packed with 1.5MB of total cache split into 512KB per core. It will also boast DDR3-1333 support, an HT speed of 3.6GT/s, and AMD-V support.
It's not yet known how fast the part will come clocked, nor is there any word on a projected release date or price point. But if AMD plays its cards right, the mobile Phenom could prove awfully tempting for consumers who want to step up from a dual-core platform but lack the ducats to go quad. Or it could force Intel's hand at lowering the price of its mobile Core 2 Quad chips. Either way, notebook shoppers stand to win.
There has been some renewed excitement over AMD's triple-core Phenom X3 processors after at least one user claims to have been able to unlock the fourth core. The post appeared on Korean website Playwares.com backed by what appear to be legitimately looking screenshots. Using a Bisotar TA790GX motherboard, all it supposedly took was changing the "Advanced Clock Calibration" in the BIOS to 'Auto,' which reportedly unlocks the disabled core.
Citing un-named motherboard makers, DigiTimes says the report has caused an upsurge in demand for AMD's Phenom X3 chips. Those same sources also described the credibility of unlocking reports as very high, but cautioned that it might only apply to specific batches of CPUs and not the whole tri-core lineup.
Not surprisingly, AMD isn't commenting on whether or not the disabled cores can be re-enabled. And until we see it for ourselves or from a reputable source, we remain skeptical that it can be done.
It can be argued that AMD didn't start to build an enthusiast following until the Barton days. Back then, the company's efficient processors not only held their own in performance, but destroyed Intel when it came to the bang/buck factor, both in regards to processor pricing and the overall platform (you could pick up a high end AMD motherboard for under $200). Ever since Intel finally responded with its Core 2 architecture, AMD has had a tougher time competing on the performance front, forcing AMD to slash prices, and that's what happening again. In addition to price cuts, AMD is also expanding its tri-core line.
The newly announced Phenom X3 8450e comes clocked at 2.1GHz and the Phenom X2 8250e putters at 1.9GHz. Both processors sport 512KB of L2 cache and 2MB of L3 cache, and both also come rated with a 65W TDP, compared to 95W for AMD's standard Phenom tri-core line. No pricing information has yet been announced for either model.
On the higher end, AMD's Phenom X3 8750 Black Edition will bring an unlocked multiplier to the table and cruise along at 2.4GHz. It will come with the same amount of L2 and L3 cache as the 8450e and 8250e processors, but rated at the aforementioned 95W TDP. Pricing has been set to $134 for bulk orders.
So what about the price cuts? AMD will drop it's X3 8450 (without the 'e' designation) down to $104 and X3 8650 down to $119, both in bulk.
For the AMD faithful not quite ready to step up to quad-core processing, AMD this week will start adding to its triple-core lineup. The new processors are based on AMD's Toliman core.
Phenom X3 8750 (2.5GHz, 95W)
Phenom X3 8550 (2.2GHz, 95W)
Phenom X3 8450e (2.1GHz, 65W)
Note the 'e' designation in the last processor, which will represent AMD's new lower wattage CPUs. The X3 8450e will be the first 65W tri-core out of the gates, followed by the Phenom X3 8250e (1.9GHz, 65W).
Astute readers might also notice that the Phenom X3 8750 is incorrectly clocked at 2.5GHz instead of 2.4GHz. That's not a typo, and according to TomsHardware, AMD plans to bump up the clockspeed by 100MHz. Not only that, but THW says the flagship tri-core CPU will sport an unlocked multiplier. Oddly enough, the site also reports AMD will release a Phenom X3 8850 clocked at 2.5GHz this October, with an unlocked version to follow in December. Go figure.