AMD says they are focusing on clock speed control of the individual cores of quad-core processors to allow the processors to stay in the same power envelope as their dual-core predecessors.
Intel has been touting its quad-core processors "Kentsfield," likely to be named Core 2 Quadro, and "Clovertown," a future member of the Xeon DP 5000 series, since the beginning of this year and recently announced that it will be releasing Kentsfield as high-end desktop CPU in time for the Christmas season.
AMD will counter Kentsfield and Clovertown with a desktop and a new Opteron chip, but details are scarce. What we learned earlier is that the first quad-core, likely the Opteron variant, will launch in mid-2007 and that it will be a 65 nm chip, with a 45 nm version likely to follow in the first half of 2008. During a recent presentation, AMD provided a few more pieces of information on the architecture of the processor and how it will be able to reach a 68 watt power envelope.
While clock speeds have not been revealed, each of the four cores will integrate 64 KB L1 Cache and 512 KB L2 cache. The native quad-core architecture will also include a 2 MB shared L3 cache, which may increase in capacity over time. The processor will have a total of four Hypertransport links - up from three today - that provide a total bandwidth to outside devices of 5.2 GB/s. AMD is also thinking about integrating support for FB-DIMMs "when appropriate."