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AMD Reveals Single Socket For Zen CPU, APU

AMD talked a little bit more about its upcoming Zen architecture processors at CES 2016. Specifically, the company revealed the socket that will be used and announced the code names of the new CPUs and APUs.

The current lineup of AMD CPUs and APUs spans across a number of different sockets: The FX line of processors drop into the AM3+ socket, the APU lineup uses socket FM2+, and the Athlon and Sempron SoC chips slot into socket AM1. These three sockets exist because each of the processor lines has very different underlying architecture.

FX CPUs still require a Southbridge and Northbridge on the motherboard, APUs have an integrated Northbridge with the Southbridge on the motherboard, and AM1 Athlons and Semprons are SoC (system on chip) processors with USB and SATA controllers integrated. With all the differences between processor architectures, AMD was not able to create a universal socket that works with all of them. That all changes with Zen.

AMD announced that the upcoming Zen architecture will be sharing one socket across both the CPU and APU lineups. Socket AM4 will succeed AM3+, FM2+ and AM1 to become the only socket needed for any AMD Zen processor. The company said that each of the Zen chips will be supported by all motherboards, which will make for very clear upgrade paths from entry level to top tier hardware.

AMD also revealed the code names of both the CPU and APU that are being developed for release later this year. The Zen CPU is known as Summit Ridge and the APU is called Bristol Ridge. These processors can use the same socket because they are both SoCs and they both support DDR4.

We don’t yet know anything else about the forthcoming processors but AMD said we’ll hear more details as the launch of Zen approaches over the coming months.

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  • ingtar33
    we knew this almost 3 years ago just before the FM2+ socket was about to be released

    At that time back in late 2013 AMD said that FM2+ would be the last "split" socket from AM3+, and that the next socket would unify the structure on AM4, supporting DDR4 ram (which is how the AM sockets always have been numbered, based on the version of the ddr ram they supported)

    I guess it's nice to see their plans haven't change, but i can't help but feel like this is all too little too late at this point. The time for Zen to be launched and be relevant was probably early last year during the underwhelming broadwell release. by the time Zen comes out intel will be on the chip beyond skylake (either the refresh kaby lake or the upgrade on 10nm cannon lake), and if the promo material about Zen is to be believed it will be sitting on roughly Ivy Bridge performance (possibly Haswell level performance, though I've seen nothing to suggest it will be that good)

    the Story of post 2005 AMD. too late to the game every time. Once the core2 lineup was released it took them 3 years to find a chip that could play with it (PhenomII), we're now on year 7 of the core I lineup, and they still haven't released a product that matches sandybridge. it breaks my heart since i want AMD to be competitive but i fear AMD's management has crippled the company to the point of non-competitiveness.

    Reply
  • Quixit
    Well, yeah. The only reason AM3+ is still around if because AMD skipped a generation of high-end processors, otherwise they would already have done with with FM2.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Makes sence. It's pointless to have multiple sockets when you don't have a south bridge or north bridge anymore.
    Reply
  • ammaross
    17281998 said:
    I guess it's nice to see their plans haven't change, but i can't help but feel like this is all too little too late at this point. The time for Zen to be launched and be relevant was probably early last year during the underwhelming broadwell release. by the time Zen comes out intel will be on the chip beyond skylake (either the refresh kaby lake or the upgrade on 10nm cannon lake), and if the promo material about Zen is to be believed it will be sitting on roughly Ivy Bridge performance (possibly Haswell level performance, though I've seen nothing to suggest it will be that good)

    They don't need to be better than Intel's latest. They only need to be as good or better than CPUs at their given price-point. If their top-end Zen CPU beats a top-end i5, but sells for $20 less, they'll get the win. They only lose the top-end market (which frankly is a smaller percentage). AMD has only been good at fighting on performance per dollar for quite a while now.
    Reply
  • ComputerSecurityGuy
    Well, we did already know. The crucial timing will be during Kaby Lake, which is shaping up to be a very unimpressive release, a lot like Haswell/Broadwell. If AMD releases new APUs especially... Well, if you had a choice between a chip with the performance of an Ivy Bridge i7 and the GPU on par with a 750 Ti, or a slightly more powerful Kaby Lake chip with a way weaker iGPU, I know what would go. Same with Ivy Bridge-E vs Skylake. They don't have to compete with the highest priced Intel chips. Because people don't need that much more power. I mean, people are still buying Haswell CPUs because they are cheaper than the Skylake ones. A chip with Ivy Bridge-Haswell performance will sell well if priced only a little less then Skylake, and Kaby Lake is really more like Skylake Refresh.
    Reply
  • apone
    @ ingtar33

    AMD's strategy has never really been to trump Intel. What has always made AMD processors great is that they come close to Intel's chips in terms of performance but are considerably cheaper (best bang for the buck). We saw this with the Athlon XP (Thoroughbred & Barton cores) and the Phenom chips but starting with Bulldozer, it felt like there was a lot of hype and pressure to finally spank Intel (which didn't turn out to be the case). However, I do agree that AMD has been focusing on and overemphasizing APU's and neglecting to re-engineer its FX line.
    Reply
  • thor220
    we knew this almost 3 years ago just before the FM2+ socket was about to be released

    At that time back in late 2013 AMD said that FM2+ would be the last "split" socket from AM3+, and that the next socket would unify the structure on AM4, supporting DDR4 ram (which is how the AM sockets always have been numbered, based on the version of the ddr ram they supported)

    I guess it's nice to see their plans haven't change, but i can't help but feel like this is all too little too late at this point. The time for Zen to be launched and be relevant was probably early last year during the underwhelming broadwell release. by the time Zen comes out intel will be on the chip beyond skylake (either the refresh kaby lake or the upgrade on 10nm cannon lake), and if the promo material about Zen is to be believed it will be sitting on roughly Ivy Bridge performance (possibly Haswell level performance, though I've seen nothing to suggest it will be that good)

    the Story of post 2005 AMD. too late to the game every time. Once the core2 lineup was released it took them 3 years to find a chip that could play with it (PhenomII), we're now on year 7 of the core I lineup, and they still haven't released a product that matches sandybridge. it breaks my heart since i want AMD to be competitive but i fear AMD's management has crippled the company to the point of non-competitiveness.

    I think it's always funny when people put all the blame on AMD management. Sure AMD has messed up, especially in the last 7 years but you have to remember, this is after they were blocked from the market by Intel.

    AMD literally could not sell a superior product in the original Athlon because Intel locked them out from all the OEMs. Back in the day where few had Internet, it was a killing blow. If you cannot sell your product, you don't make money.

    Ever since then AMD has had less money and as a result, has almost always been a step behind. Once again, Nvidia is doing something similar on the GPU side of things right now. GameWorks, a program Nvidia claims helps devs. make video games for the PC, has not had a single game where it has achieved that goal. AMD may not have clearcut winner cards out right now but the 20% performance hit from GameWorks really doesn't help and pretty much makes it so that no matter what card AMD releases, the Nvidia card will be faster just because it's a GameWorks title. If two company's products are no longer competing on how good each one actually is, this is no longer a healthy capitalist system.
    Reply
  • caldrek
    Zen is addressing a new breed of CPUs that are geared more towards HSA and parallel compute to drive emerging markets such as VR and deep learning data centers. These compute farms will feed the desktop consumer market that will leverage the same underlying code and architectural engine. There's no question about the fact that this is the future trend. Saying that Zen is one year too late to the market is not correct since it's actually ahead of intel on that matter. The architecture of Zen is different and it's sole purpose is not to be 'competitive' to intel's latest but to excel in its purpose. Intel and Nvidia are trying to do the same thing but AMD has a better consolidated end-to-end platform, interconnect and open standard framework to facilitate the innovative community.
    Reply
  • ravewulf
    The tiny picture of AMD's slide combined with Tom's horrible image management detracts from the article. I don't understand why you don't use Lightboxes or something. It has only been......years that people have been complaining about this.
    Direct links to the full size images when you click on the small ones should be a minimum requirement even if they don't use JavaScript based viewers. Clicking to get an even smaller image that you have to click again to get a popup window with the full size image is just maddening. http://media.bestofmicro.com/F/R/551367/original/zen-socket.PNG
    Reply
  • salgado18
    we knew this almost 3 years ago just before the FM2+ socket was about to be released

    At that time back in late 2013 AMD said that FM2+ would be the last "split" socket from AM3+, and that the next socket would unify the structure on AM4, supporting DDR4 ram (which is how the AM sockets always have been numbered, based on the version of the ddr ram they supported)

    I guess it's nice to see their plans haven't change, but i can't help but feel like this is all too little too late at this point. The time for Zen to be launched and be relevant was probably early last year during the underwhelming broadwell release. by the time Zen comes out intel will be on the chip beyond skylake (either the refresh kaby lake or the upgrade on 10nm cannon lake), and if the promo material about Zen is to be believed it will be sitting on roughly Ivy Bridge performance (possibly Haswell level performance, though I've seen nothing to suggest it will be that good)

    the Story of post 2005 AMD. too late to the game every time. Once the core2 lineup was released it took them 3 years to find a chip that could play with it (PhenomII), we're now on year 7 of the core I lineup, and they still haven't released a product that matches sandybridge. it breaks my heart since i want AMD to be competitive but i fear AMD's management has crippled the company to the point of non-competitiveness.

    I think it's always funny when people put all the blame on AMD management. Sure AMD has messed up, especially in the last 7 years but you have to remember, this is after they were blocked from the market by Intel.

    AMD literally could not sell a superior product in the original Athlon because Intel locked them out from all the OEMs. Back in the day where few had Internet, it was a killing blow. If you cannot sell your product, you don't make money.

    Ever since then AMD has had less money and as a result, has almost always been a step behind. Once again, Nvidia is doing something similar on the GPU side of things right now. GameWorks, a program Nvidia claims helps devs. make video games for the PC, has not had a single game where it has achieved that goal. AMD may not have clearcut winner cards out right now but the 20% performance hit from GameWorks really doesn't help and pretty much makes it so that no matter what card AMD releases, the Nvidia card will be faster just because it's a GameWorks title. If two company's products are no longer competing on how good each one actually is, this is no longer a healthy capitalist system.
    This all the way.

    If you look at it, Only low-end laptops have AMD chips, all of them have lower-than-Full-HD screens, and are just cheap crappy systems. But that is enough to take away the blame from Intel from shutting down OEMs. AMD has very competent chips, but it's very hard to find them in products, and I don't blame the market for it.

    I see the same going for Nvidia, always working with proprietary tech, very close to developers, shutting down the competition from within.

    The problem is that it takes a very long time to discover the issue, and the only penalties are financial, which Intel laughs at (a billion? cash or card?). If forbidden sales or other hard restrictions were applied, I doubt they would do it.
    Reply