Details of AMD’s six-core Phenom II chips leaked online

Details of Advanced Micro Devices’ upcoming six-core Phenom II X6 desktop processors have apparently leaked online, giving users a first look at the chips ahead of their expected introduction later this month.

AMD announced plans to ship a series of six-core desktop chips during the Cebit exhibition in Germany last month, saying the chips would be available during the second quarter, but held back on details of the chips, including clock speeds and cache size. However, copies of four AMD presentation slides containing details of the chips, dated March 2010 and marked “Confidential — NDA Required,” referring to a non-disclosure agreement, were posted online by tech Web site VR-Zone, and later removed from the site without explanation.

Removing the slides from VR-Zone didn’t stop the information from spreading online as the slides were reposted on another site, Softpedia.

The slides, which appear to be authentic, show AMD plans to begin production of three six-core Phenom II X6 chips in April, with a fourth model to enter production during the third quarter.

The first three chips — the 1090T, 1055T and 1035T — will run at clock speeds of 3.2GHz, 2.8GHz and 2.6GHz, respectively, according to the slides. In Turbo mode, the chips run even faster, at 3.6GHz, 3.3GHz and 3.1GHz. All of the chips have 9MB of cache and are manufactured using a 45-nanometer process. No information on pricing was given.

The fourth chip, due during the third quarter, is the 1075T, which runs at a clock speed of 3GHz — or 3.5GHz in Turbo mode — and also has 9MB of cache.

Three of the four Phenom II X6 chips — the 1090T, 1075T and 1055T — have a thermal design power (TDP) of 125 watts, suggesting they are designed for high-end PCs, including gaming machines. The other chip, the 1035T, has a TDP of 95 watts, which matches AMD’s lineup of mainstream desktop chips.

Asked to confirm the specifications, AMD first said they were “not accurate,” but then appeared to back away from that statement when informed of the source of the information.

“I think you are referring to leaked information and a slide which was not published by AMD. Therefore, AMD can not confirm the accuracy of the details you have sent,” wrote Jason Coates, a spokesman for AMD Asia-Pacific, in an e-mail.

Regardless of the exact specifications, users will soon see PCs based on six-core chips like the Phenom II X6 or Intel’s upcoming six-core Gulftown processor. Intel has not given a timeframe for when the Gulftown chips will be available.

Exactly how users can expect to benefit from so many processor cores is unclear. Most desktop PC software doesn’t benefit from multiple processor cores, but that hasn’t slowed the shift to PCs with multiple processor cores, first to quad-core chips and now six-core versions.

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