AMD has yet to name the date when it will ship the desktop 'Phenom' processor based on its the Barcelona quad-core platform, but it today announced a new member of the family: a three-core CPU that will slide in between the quad-core Phenom X4 superslab and the dual-core Phenom X2.
Predictably christened the Phenom X3, it's actually a quad-core CPU on which one of the cores isn't working and is thus disabled. This novel approach isn't new to the tech industry: it's long been rumoured (but never confirmed by Intel) that the single-engine Core Solo processors were dual-core silicon on which one core had blown a fuse.
You can go as far back as the days of 5.25 inch floppy drives, when 720Kb disks which failed testing but could be formatted at a lower capacity were re-badged and sold as 360Kb disks. The triple-core Phenom x3 is a Phenom x4 quad-core with one (non-working) core disabled