AMD’s upcoming Kaveri APU is slated for a Q4 2013 launch and will arrive with a new socket and updated chipset. AMD confirmed last week that Socket FM2+ will offer backwards-compatibility for Trinity and Richland processors.
According to some new information and pictures taken by Computex-goers, Kaveri draws power in a very different manner and given that it’s based on an entirely different architecture for both the CPU and GPU, it’s expected that power draw will be around the same level as Llano-based processors, at the very least.
Socket FM2+, however, changes the pin layout and makes it possible to feature backwards compatibility for Richland and Trinity processors, but it doesn’t work the other way round. Because Kaveri uses 901 pins and Trinity/Richland uses all 904 pins on the FM2 socket, backwards compatibility won’t be a given. The chip includes a few extra pins, which obviously means it’ll never fit.
In addition, Kaveri may require a very different power draw to what we’ve seen from Llano and Trinity. The boards supporting the chips now require an 8-pin EPS 12v connector, which is the same requirement for new motherboards on the LGA1150 socket supporting Intel’s Haswell processors.
At the AMD conference, a show-and-tell afterwards involved bloggers being able to snap pictures of the chip itself and of some upcoming boards. Pictured above is the ASUS A88XM-Pro and there’s the 8-pin connector to the left and top of the processor’s socket.
A look at the specs sheet also tells us that Kaveri will use DDR3 modules, but now increases compatibility to include DDR3-2400 modules in dual-channel mode. It is highly unlikely that Kaveri will support DDR4 modules, as that would require a different slot design.
There is the possibility, though, that some motherboard vendors will include up to 1GB of GDDR5 memory for the integrated GPU to use. ESRAM is another possibility, but that only makes chip design for AMD more difficult and they’d rather leave the tweaking up to the consumer rather than incur the extra costs and attempt to hike up the price of the processors.