AMD has said time and time again that it intends to start producing 45nm processors in the second half of this year. However, the chipmaker's 45nm desktop CPUs may not actually hit store shelves until early January 2009, according to a new report.
X-bit labs claims to have learned from "sources familiar with AMD's plans" that the company will announce 45nm Phenoms on January 8, 2009, the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show. The first 45nm Phenoms will run at 2.8GHz and 3GHz, and they'll slip into the same AM2+ sockets as their predecessors. Don't expect any miracles from a power consumption perspective, though: X-bit labs projects thermal envelopes of 125W, the same as that of the existing Phenom X4 9850.
If this information is correct, AMD might have a tough time keeping up with Intel. 45nm Phenoms may be faster clock-for-clock than current AMD chips, but so will Intel's next-generation Core i7 CPUs—and significantly so. That said, recent rumors suggest the first desktop Core i7s will cost upward of $284, so AMD could undercut Intel and see some success at lower, higher-volume price points.