July 27, 2006, Intel officially introduced its new Core 2 processor to the public. Based on the Conroe core, it proved to be a breakthrough in terms of CPU performance. AMD just doesn't have a processor that could match the newest top-end models of the Core 2 series.
Unfortunately for AMD, the company was overconfident with its highly successful K8 series and didn't prepare a timely response. According to the recently published roadmaps, AMD will release a new processor currently known under its codename of K8L (other sources refer to it as the K10) in the middle of the next year, i.e. a full year after Intel's release of the Core 2.
The K8L is being originally designed as a quad-core chip. Its four execution cores will reside on a single silicon wafer and will all be connected to a shared L3 cache, to a common crossbar and to a common memory controller.
The already known and expected micro-architectural improvements in the upcoming processor will be discussed in this article. We will compare it with the Conroe micro-architecture to evaluate its possible fortes and weaknesses as well as future perspectives.