Even though, starting from June of 2011, AMD's high-end chips will be based on the Bulldozer architecture, the company also plans to continue developing new Phenom II X4 parts in the future and recent leaks suggest that the current Phenom II X4 975BE processor will be replaced by the 980 BE chip.
The new CPU is supposed to arrive sometime in the April-August timeframe and could be accompanied by other Phenom II parts, according to sources cited by the Donanim Haber publication.
Judging to the details provided, the chip will be clocked at 3.7GHz, will carry a 125W TDP and features the same specs as its lower clocked brothers.
This means that, as all the other Daneb parts, the 980 BE will sport 512KB of L2 data cache per core, 6MB of shared Level 3 cache memory, dual-channel DDR3-1333MHz memory and HyperTransport 3.0 support.
AMD will use the 45-nanometer DSL SOI technology to build the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition and the processor is compatible with regular AM3 and AM3+ motherboards as well as with the older AM2/AM2+ boards.
Since the chip belongs to the Black Edition line of processors its multiplier will be fully unlocked, making it easier to overclock.
AMD's current Phenom II X4 flagship processor is the Phenom II X4 975 BE that was launched at the beginning of January and comes clocked at 3.6GHz.
In our review of the 975 BE we have found that although the processor delivers when it comes to performance and has a more than decent overclocking potential, its price is a bit too high, as for only $5 more you could get a six-core Phenom II X6 1075T.
Given its expected release date, however, it is expected that AMD will adjust its prices so that they better reflect the performances of its CPUs.