AMD To Release Tri-Core CPUs?

Another one from the rumor mill over at the Inq, but it seems possible that AMD might actually release a three core CPU. At first glance such a story might seem like the wild tales of journalists who are off their meds, but there may actually be a few advantages of losing a core.

Consider that Barcelona just debuted at 2.0GHz with four cores and AMD claims that the chip will scale up to higher clock speeds before the end of the year. Just how far is unclear, but the number 2.5GHz has been tossed around quite frequently. Now imagine if they were only working with three cores instead of four. What clock speed could a tri-core Barcelona hit? What programs might benefit from this? Here's what Charlie has to say on the subject:

“On the technical side, this is pretty trivial to do: three to core four is just a fuse to blow. What it gets you is a whole lot of choices. Remember the smooth run of SKUs, that was the beginning. If your clocks are thermally constrained, having three instead of four cores gives you a bin or two of speed. Given how few games use a second core fully, this might be a real win.”

Is the tri-core K10 all smoke and mirrors or a viable product?  Let us know your thoughts on the subject.

Tags:  AMD, CPU, Core, tri-core, ease, release, EA, AM, CPUs