AMD is planning to release quad-core processors by 2007. At the moment AMD has high confidence in the development of their dual-core products. Their AMD64 architecture was designed with multiple-core confirgurations in mind with its integrated memory controller and HyperTransport feature.
An analyst for Goldman Sachs said that the die size (and thus likely cost) for dual-core is likely to be well less than double that of a single-core, given the amount of shared circuitry between the two cores.
AMD has unveiled plans to produce server, workstation and desktop CPUs with two processing engines in the second half of next year. Dual-core AMD Opteron processors are expected in mid-2005, while AMD Athlon 64 processors with two cores are slated for late 2005.
AMD plans to produce its dual-core products using 90nm/200mm production lines, which has already started to make commercial CPUs, in 2005 and to move to more advanced 65nm/300mm production lines of Fab 36 in 2006.
“AMD’s roadmap in microprocessors includes launching a dual-core processor next year, and potentially a quad-core processor in 2007 on the 65nm/300mm process,” Mr. Root of Goldman Sachs continued.
While there will be hardly any need for multi-core microprocessors in desktops in 2007, server makers are likely to welcome multi-core chips. It is not clear whether multi-core offerings from AMD will feature AMD64 architecture used today or AMD's code-named K9 architecture that is in development.