Just one day before Intel's IDF conference, AMD dropped a little bit of a bomb on us, confirming that they will bring hexa-core processors to consumer computers. Even better, they'll be backwards compatible with existing AM3 and AM2+ motherboards.
The processor will be a version of AMD's six-core server processors, and will place all six cores on one 45nm die. AMD warned that clock speeds will probably not be quite as high as current quad-core processors (MaximumPC suggests this may be due to "added thermal output from the two additional cores"), and will have 3MB of L2 and 6MB of L3 cache. It'll be competing with Intel's "Gulftown" (probably Core i9)when it debuts next year. But the best news here is the backward-compatibility — unlike Intel, you won't have to replace your motherboard if you want to upgrade to the "Thuban" procs. We hope Intel follows suit, and we'll let you know how they respond later this week from IDF. [MaximumPC via Engadget]