AMD Llano Rumored To Use New Socket

AMD Llano Rumored To Use New Socket

There's a lot riding on AMD's CPU+GPU Fusion part (now known as an APU in official AMD parlance), but new information suggests that when Llano does launch, it'll do so in a new socket. The new form factor will be known as Socket FM1, but it's not clear how it fits into AMD's roadmap over the next few years. When last we saw that document, it looked like this:


Here we see Bulldozer arriving in 2011 on AM3. The implication, at least, is that Bulldozer could be a drop-in replacement for anyone who owns a current AM3 board, though AMD has yet to formally comment on this. Llano debuts on its own, unnamed platform at the same time. This implies that anyone with a Llano-based product is going to have a limited upgrade path. Since we already know that Llano is a stopgap APU meant to bridge the divide between Athlon/Phenom II processors and APU products based on Bobcat and Bulldozer, it's possible that Socket FM1 itself may not last very long.

It's no surprise that Llano would require its own socket/chipset, since existing products weren't designed to handle a CPU with an integrated GPU, but we're hoping that the company will return to a single socket platform once Bulldozer is available. Even if AMD doesn't return to a single socket, it's still the better bet for customers who want long-term upgradeability—Core i3 and i5 products are barely six months old, but we already know that Intel's next-generation of chipsets for Sandy Bridge won't be backwards compatible with existing Core i3/i5/i7 products.

A quick update on Llano, for those of you who might have forgotten:  Llano will feature 2-4 cores clocked above 3GHz, a total of 4MB of L2 cache (most likely split at 1MB per core, though we may see some wiggling on this at various price points), and an integrated GPU with DirectX 11 support. Historical evidence suggests that AMD's integrated GPU will perform very well against Intel's, but we won't know for certain until hardware ships out. Llano will almost certainly support AMD's Turbo Core technology, and will use DDR3.
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Fusion just means they are going to try and fuse your money in their pockets!

Kinda like crack dealers, they will get you hooked on the cheap product until you have to have it everyday, in turn buying a hundred times as much as you would have with the other stuff! All while still making you think it feels good!

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animatortom:
Kinda like crack dealers, they will get you hooked on the cheap product until you have to have it everyday, in turn buying a hundred times as much as you would have with the other stuff! All while still making you think it feels good!

Perhaps you should switch to crystal meth.

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In the long run, An intel chip is much cheaper and better for youIndifferent

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Intel is also working on Discrete Graphics, but not officially announced yet...

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So, intel is methadone in this analogy? 0.o

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«In the long run, An intel chip is much cheaper and better for you». Why ? Any evidence to back that statement ?...

Henri

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If I have the choice between an Intel Chip and a like performing AMD chip, I go with the AMD one every time. (remember that I said LIKE performing)

I do this because I want to keep AMD alive for as long as possible. I feel that without them in the marketplace, Intel's prices would be like a runaway train.

So AMD's throttling of Intel is a good enough reason to buy from them. They offer the same warranty and motherboards are less expensive too.

I'm not too keen on the idea of combining the CPU and GPU in systems though. If one breaks, you get to replace them both. Upgrades are less expensive when they're separated too.

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"Intel is also working on Discrete Graphics, but not officially announced yet... "

Didn't they drop that idea a while back? Unless I'M the one still going on old news...

"If I have the choice between an Intel Chip and a like performing AMD chip, I go with the AMD one every time. "

Yup, so do I. An honest admission Neil: I remember you gushing about how the i5 was absolutely the best bang for the buck anyone could have, a few months ago...I don't know, a huge part of why I support AMD is because of the socket design: having the pins on the processor is better than having them on the motherboard.

Think about it: a motherboard is already a DOA-prone item, juggling lots of complex circuitry with a much higher chance of messing up than a contained chip like a CPU. If I were to buy a motherboard, I would buy it to last through many system upgrades (meaning, I would chance the CPU more frequently than the mobo) and so I would choose a durable motherboard. Having a CPU socket with such flimsy, uncovered pins sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

"I'm not too keen on the idea of combining the CPU and GPU in systems though. If one breaks, you get to replace them both."

Are you sure you've got the setup figured right? To me it seems like the GPU is sort of like one core on a multi-core chip, in which case if it dies, it dies. I think it's a good idea, myself. If the CPU and GPU can communicate with one another directly instead of going through a chipset (limited by external bus width) this is excellent for small systems with an integrated graphic solution. And for those who buy external cards, having a GPU built in to the CPU along with an onboard PCIe controller gives you potential for a nice Hybrid CrossFireX setup.

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Do you mean crossfire between APU and GPU? that is interesting.  

 

The Llano will support directX 11, but how much GPU power will they be able to put into this?  That would be great if they could cram a 5870 into that, but that just seems far fetched to me.

my prediction is they will have several different options, for example:

low-end APU = 2 core 3GHZ, ATI Radeon 5570

high-end APU = 4 core 3.4GHZ, ATI Radeon 5750

These seem well fit for notebooks.  Interested to see how they will catch on

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This is when you will see AMD really make headway. Yes they are lagging behind Intel in terms of raw computational performance but when Fusion arrives they should close the gap significantly. They did not purchase ATI for 5.4 Billion for nothing. Stay tuned on this one it should get interesting indeed!!!!!!!!!!

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Alright, need to clear up some misconceptions:

1) The first integrated GPU for Llano is targeting the HD 5350. AMD has already said that the integrated GPU is not meant to totally replace the lower end of the discrete market. In any event, there's no room for a full-fledged GPU die on 32nm tech. All else being equal, the performance of the GPU of a Fusion APU will increase as manufacturing technology shrinks, but a midrange card today is almost certainly at least 4 years away from GPU integration.

2) We might see Crossfire pairing between CPU and GPU.

3) Intel chips are not "much cheaper." They do offer a superior price/performance ratio in some cases. AMD's aggressive pricing, structure, however, keeps them in the game. Intel motherboards are also significantly more expensive than Intel boards, which twists the equation a bit.

Finally, LGA775 sockets can be damaged, but the risk is minimal if you handle the socket as carefully as you'd typically handle the CPU.

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@Joel H

1) Not really comparable, but Microsoft's new console - the 360S has a CPU + GPU on the same die. Of course the tech. though is like 5-6 years old.

I really do think manufacturers should re-design GPUs. They are starting to get massive and out of control. Why not make them socket based like CPUs?

Also I really do like what AMD is doing. They are raising the minnimum graphics power standard for desktops/laptops. Intel has been dominating the integrated graphics department forever, and a change is good.

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The XBOX 360 cpu and gpu may be on the same board, but they are still very seperate chips, with seperate heatsinks.

Interesting thought on the socket-based GPU

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@Life As I stated, the newest Xbox 360S does have BOTH the CPU AND GPU on the same Die. The older versions of course do not. Also it only requires 1 Heatsink versus 2 on the old one.

If they can make a GPU for the xbox that is socket based, i'm sure they can make it for everything else. Also, isn't what the Xbox 360S has kind of what AMD wants for their fusion? Both CPU and GPU on the same Die.

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I hope AMD switches to LGA style sockets if they do decide to change from AM2+/AM3.  No more bent pins when replacing CPU!

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I forgot one other thing: Yes, Larrabee--Intel's discrete chip--is dead as a GPU. Period. It was sorta alive for awhile, now it isn't.

CrowTro: The reason the XBox 360S integrates a GPU and CPU now is because neither product has changed. When the XBox 360 debuted, its Xenon CPU and R600-derived GPU were both built on 90 nanometer technology. As of the XBox 360 S, the unified chip is built on 45nm tech. Remember that since we're talking area, a 45nm CPU (assuming perfect scaling) isn't just 1/2 the size of a 90nm CPU -- it's 1/4.

That means MS can put CPU and GPU on a single die and have the joint package be smaller than either part was on a first-generation Xbox.

Also: A socket-based GPU makes no sense due to how the cards themselves are configured. One of the advantages of a 5750 vs. a 5970, for example, is that the 5750 is a single-slot design. In order to make that part upgradeable, the 5750 would have to have *all* the circuitry built into the card in advance so that the customer could drop in a 5970 chip and roar off into the sunset. It's not an effective model.

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