AMD's 45nm CPUs are expected as soon as the second half of 2008, according to Digitimes
. Considering AMD's 65nm process hasn't even been rolled out entirely yet and Phenom doesn't arrive until much later this year, this could mean a really short turn around time for AMD, but arguably something it absolutely needs to "catch up".
45nm will launch with Socket AM3, which will be backwards compatible to AM2 and AM2+, the latter due to launch with the next generation of chipsets in August.
Digitimes claims the processors will support a DDR2/3 memory controller and since AM3 processors are due to be backwards compatible with AM2/AM2+ motherboards this dual memory controller compatibility should mean a very painless upgrade path. Something that's very important given the life of CPU sockets now seems so short.
However, newer AM3 motherboards will not accept AM2/AM2+ CPUs because they will only offer DDR3 memory, and DDR3 modules use a lower voltage and have a slightly different core architecture to DDR2 making them directly incompatible.
"AMD's AM3 family will include the quad-core Deneb and DenebFX, dual-core Propus and Regor, and single-core Sargas. Shipments of 45nm products are predicted to surpass those of 65nm products within half a year from launch, noted the sources."
So we will still see 65nm CPUs from AMD a long way into 2009, when Intel will likely be starting to launch its first 32nm CPUs. The vast majority of Intel's lineup will be 45nm by then, with the introduction of Nehalem incorporating a memory controller of its own already hitting shelves if roadmaps go to plan.
Fusion from AMD, a CPU-GPU mix, should also launch on 45nm as well, so maybe the two processes are moving hand in hand which is why we'll see the new process technology much sooner than expected.
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