Despite having displayed a 3GHz Phenom system at its Technology Analyst Day last summer, AMD hasn't yet commercialized a Phenom processor clocked higher than 2.5GHz. What's more, we had trouble pushing AMD's 2.5GHz chip over the 2.9GHz mark in our overclocking tests. However, a report by Fudzilla hints that Phenom's 45nm descendants may finally unbridle the architecture's potential.
Citing internal AMD data, Fudzilla reports that AMD's 45nm Deneb core (the forthcoming desktop variant of Shanghai) will be able to achieve clock speeds of 3.2GHz—and perhaps even more. AMD itself has stayed mute on 45nm launch clock speeds, although it disclosed last week that its 45nm chips are due to become available in large quantities in the fourth quarter of this year.
As Fudzilla points out, the fourth-quarter time frame matches Intel's launch schedule for its next-generation Nehalem chips. Current signs point to Nehalem chips being significantly faster clock-for-clock than existing Core 2 Quads and also having the ability to run at 3.2GHz, so Nehalem should turn out to be a formidable opponent to both Deneb and Shanghai.