Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is set to launch the next generation AM3+ chip in Q3 2012. It's currently codenamed Vishera and will use an improved Bulldozer core known as Piledriver.
It's got stiff competition though, as it'll be going up against Intel's Ivy Bridge, which will use the new 22nm manufacturing process. This will bring with it the usual performance gains of a new generation as well as the improvements of a die shrink, including lower power requirements and cooler operation.
However, as Fudzilla reports, before consumers get a taste of Vishera, AMD has another system in the works. Known as Volan, it uses the same northbridge and southbridge design as current AM3+ Bulldozer chips and is expected to debut sometime in the first half of 2012. Two chip launches in one year could help get things moving for AMD, but they may find that people forgo splashing out on the first launch since they know the second is just around the corner.
The chip manufacturer will need to pull its finger out with these releases too, as the latest Bulldozer line up - while strong in multithreaded tests - was so poor in single core performance that it seems unlikely many will be picking it up. AMD fans still harken back to the days of the 64 series of chips and hope the firm can turn it around, but faith in the company's desktop game is waning.
Either AMD needs to bump up the performance by an impressive margin, or change the manufacturing process to one that's far more cost effective, allowing it to do what it's done for the past five years or so: undercut Intel.