AMD has formally introduced its line of quad-core consumer processors, promising delivery in the second half of this year.
The new Phenom chips will run in both dual-core and quad-core formats. AMD declined to provide specific speeds or pricing for the chips, but said that they would be "competitive" with those of Intel.
The Phenom chips will not be shipped in servers or enterprise-class machines. That job will fall to the Opteron chip. The Phenom will be geared towards consumers, mainly high-end gaming and home studio enthusiasts.
Within this market, the Phenom's chief competition will be the Core 2 Extreme and Quad chips from Intel.
The Phenom places all four processing cores on the same die in a similar way to the Opteron chips.
Stephen DiFranco, corporate vice president of sales and marketing at AMD, said that this "true quad-core" system will offer superior performance to Intel's Core 2 chips, which link a pair of dual-core dies on the same chip.
"Our architecture has been designed from the beginning to give systems complete access to all four cores all the time. There are four doors on four cores," he said.
"[Intel] has chosen an architecture that basically puts a turnstile in front of the four cores."
DiFranco added that the architecture will yield an overall superior performance, particularly in such fields as rendering and running multiple demanding applications at the same time.
AMD's design allows the four processing cores to quickly pass information between one another, according to Brookwood, while Intel's chips must use a front-side bus to pass data from one core to another.
"It is as if you wanted to talk to your neighbour in your apartment building, and the only way to do it was to mail them a letter," he said of Intel's architecture.
Brookwood explained that the move will give AMD a temporary advantage in the constant game of "leapfrog" between the two companies.
"Long term, both companies are executing pretty well, but they are on different product cycles," the analyst explained. "As long as you get ahead during each leapfrog cycle, it is OK."
Brookwood said that, while AMD has an advantage in quad-core architecture, Intel has been doing more work to shrink its fabrication components.
The analyst expects the next "leapfrog" event to come when Intel ships its 45nm chips later this year.
Finding refutes many earlier studies that suggest that galaxies don't have much dark matter at the time of their birth
Boris the robot outed as man in rented robot suit
Mission will provide vital data about the performance of rocket, spacecraft, autonomous docking system and the landing system
The flight will take off from California's Mojave Air and Space Port and could happen as soon as 13th December