Intel had a surprise announcement yesterday: that of its six-core Dunnington processor, which will be based on 45nm Penryn cores and is scheduled for the second half of the year. AMD hasn't announced anything of the sort, and we assumed that the world's number two chipmaker would stick with quad-core offerings until next year, when it plans to unveil its eight-core Montreal CPU.
However, the Inquirer has heard straight from the horse's mouth—or that of AMD Server and Workstation Corporate VP Randy Allen, as it happens—that six-core Opterons are in fact on AMD's roadmap. The Inq quotes Allen as saying, "In 2009 we will have enhancement to hyper threading with HT3, DDR3 technology and eight cores or more. We'll have six cores by the end of the year and you can expect to see eight cores in the 2009 timeframe." Allen didn't mention any specifics about the six-core chips, but our guess is that they may be based on the same Shanghai core as future 45nm Opterons.
Allen also had other comments to make about yesterday's Intel presentation. Namely, he told The Inq that Nehalem is "catching up with what we [AMD] have," since quad-core Opterons already have L3 cache, an integrated memory controller, and high-speed serial links. He also expressed contempt toward Larrabee, saying the forthcoming graphics processor's new vector instruction set was "not x86" and that it's "a whole different software model which will present big issues."