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AM2 motherboard owners rejoice, AM2 has a long future

AMD has released details of its next-generation desktop CPU interface, Socket AM3, to its OEM partners.  In a mildly surprising move, AMD has revealed that AM2 will accept AM2 or AM3 (also dubbed AM2+) CPU packages.  Additionally, recent roadmaps have confirmed that AM3, AMD's upcoming desktop CPU socket, will not be backwards compatible with AM2-package CPUs.  Roadmaps and memos have also confirmed that this AM3 package will be for AMD's "K8L" architecture, and not for the upcoming 65nm AM2 Brisbane CPUs scheduled for launch this December.

The most recent AMD roadmap is also very clear to state AM3 "supports either DDR2 SDRAM or DDR3 SDRAM, but not on the same motherboard."  This is great news for upgraders, as there is a very clear upgrade path: CPU, motherboard, and then memory.  This also infers that AM3 CPUs will have both DDR2 and DDR3 support on the integrated memory controller.  DDR3, like DDR2, has 240-pin, but the two formats are not pin-compatible.

As we also mentioned earlier, Greyhound will be the first desktop processor to support HyperTransport 3.0. Part of the specification for HT-3 is backwards compatibility with older revisions of HyperTransport, and the forward compatibility of the AM2 socket confirms that.  However, it’s important to mention that even though AM3 CPUs will work in the AM2 socket, HT-3 allows for 5.2 Giga-transfers per second, while current AM2 motherboards top out at 2.0 Giga-transfers per second.  Even though the additional headroom is likely not completely necessary, quad-core CPUs will certainly benefit from the additional bandwidth to additional CPUs or co-processors.

There is no word yet on the number of pins the new socket will require, but since AM2 sockets are forward compatible with AM3 CPUs, we can at least deduct that AM3 will have fewer than 940 pins.  Furthermore, since Socket AM2 is forwards compatible with AM3 CPUs, it is also safe to say that AM3 is not a land-grid array (LGA) socket.  AMD will switch its Opteron platform to an LGA-1207 socket on August 1, 2006.  AMD has not announced when Socket AM3 will be released, although since it would be the first HT-3 "ready" socket design, it seems likely that K8L and AM3 for the desktop will launch simultaneously.



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Same Socket
By rupaniii on 7/6/2006 9:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
As I see it, they wil have same Pinout.

AM3 will allow for SMP of Dual Core CPUs via HyperTransport Links.
AM2 socket does not, AM2 CPU's do not have the links.
SOOO.. naturally, an AM3 chip will work fine in an AM2 board.
But ,they are going to BIOS Disable the AM2 from working on DDR2 on AM3.

That sounds about right.




RE: Same Socket
By peternelson on 7/11/2006 9:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
Kris,

Another idea just struck me about AMD announcement of 4x4.

If indeed AM2 socket supports 1 HT link and AM2 socket supports more, perhaps.....

could AM3 board actually be the basis of AMD's 4x4 platform?

4x4 was due to come sometime 2006.

Or maybe there will be 4x4 for AM2 socket and 4x4 for AM3 socket. I suspect FX-62 AM2 processor and maybe ALL AM3 processors may be 4x4 compatible.

Any news from AMD on these things?

Also which processors/socket do they intend as compatible for HT/HTX and acceleration technologies?


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