Is AMD cooking up tri-core desktop chips?

Last month, we heard about a new Opteron server that packed not two or four processors, but three. As if that weren't unusual enough, AMD may now be prepping desktop CPUs with three cores—or so The Inquirer reports.

According to The Inq, rumors of tri-core AMD chips have been picking up steam and are now "finally solid." As for the rationale behind such a product, the site says tri-core chips are one way AMD could deal with bad yields. Indeed, AMD's quad-core Barcelona chips (and its upcoming Phenom desktop variants) pack four cores on the same die, which makes dealing with defective cores trickier than it is for Intel, whose quad-core chips are made up of two dual-core dies.

The Inq also says tri-core processors would give AMD an edge over Intel, since the blue team may not be able to retaliate with similar products until it introduces its upcoming "Nehalem" architecture next year. (Thanks to TR reader Kenn for the tip.)

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