AMD has repeatedly talked about shipping 45nm processors in the second half of this year, so we were a little surprised to hear rumors about a January 2009 launch for 45nm Phenoms last month. Those rumors are gaining traction, though, because another source has now echoed the exact same news—and with evidence to back it up.
South American site Chile Hardware claims to have secured an AMD roadmap for the fourth quarter, and that roadmap mentions a January 8, 2009 embargo date for two 45nm Phenom CPUs. Only chips with current 65nm cores (Lima, Brisbane, and Toliman) seem to have made the cut for late 2008 releases, although AMD will apparently kick off 45nm shipments to distributors and PC makers before the year is through.
As an interesting side note, the roadmap also mentions "AMD Ultra-Value Client (UVC) Solutions" scheduled for November. Below that line and the words, "DIRECT OEM ONLY" in bold, red letters, we can see references to a 1.6GHz Athlon 2650 and a 1.5GHz Athlon X2 3250e with thermal envelopes of 15W and 22W. Chile Hardware believes those CPUs will go up against the Intel Atom and Via Nano in low-cost PCs. We won't argue, since Dirk Meyer himself recently said AMD will divulge details of its Atom response in November.
Getting back to next-gen Phenoms, the roadmap lists two chips due for January: one clocked at 2.8GHz and another pegged at 3GHz, both with 125W thermal envelopes just like the existing Phenom X4 9850. Unless Intel's plans fall through, the new Phenoms may face similarly clocked Core i7 processors with more threads per core. AMD may well aim for lower prices, though.