AMD's forthcoming 8 and 12 core chips

New G34 socket also on the horizon in 2010

AMD Opteron

At the forefront of AMD's major challenge to haul itself out of the mire will be a new processor socket in 2010 as well as plans for eight and 12 core chips. AMD is no stranger to changing its sockets, and its no surprise change is once again in view. As is usual, we'll see all of these changes first for servers and latterly for the desktop.

The first chips to use the new DDR3-compatible socket are likely to be eight core chips – a second revision of 45nm process architecture. We're expecting to see the first generation of AMD 45nm product late this year, codenamed Shanghai.

The eight core chip, dubbed Sao Paulo will, it seems, consist of the two quad core die in a single package. Interesting this, since AMD has prided itself on single-die native quad core solutions thus far. Following up, Magny-Cours (many cores, geddit?) will be a 12 core chip.

Joint development

AMD's work on 45nm has been developed together with IBM – a sign of the times. Chip manufacturers are increasingly having to work together to keep costs low and fly in the face of Intel's might. The new socket, G34, has 1,974 pins according to DailyTech. As it points out, that's a whopping 767 more pins than AMD's current Socket F+ for server chips.

This is largely because of the extra interconnects needed for DDR3 and four HyperTransport 3.0 buses. Other information about the new chips suggests 12MB of L3 cache and 512KB of L2 cache will be provided per core.

Like the faulty Barcelona release of last year, Shanghai will be a server part, while Deneb will be the equivalent part for desktops. The first AMD 45nm quad-core processors have been manufactured in Dresden, Germany where AMD has a large plant.