A leaked slide from an AMD product launch has detailed that socket FM2+ will be the unifying socket for AMD’s future APUs and desktop processors.
This validates earlier rumors that socket FM2+ would be AMD’s only option going into 2014, along with a column I wrote for MyGaming explaining the death of socket AM3+.
Socket FM2+ is an evolution to FM2. It changes a few pins around but retains backwards compatibility with A-5000 and A-6000 APUs, making it easy for consumers to pick out a FM2+ motherboard and a cheaper FM2-based APU while they wait for the launch of Kaveri in 2014.
The slide was added in accidentally to the launch slides handed out to press for the new AMD A10-6790K APU. For socket FM2+, it specifically notes that it will become a “unifying infrastructure that works with current and future APUs and processors.”
Many enthusiasts and fans have speculated on how long before AMD signs off on the FX series of desktop processors. The current FX chips are based on the Piledriver (a tweaked version of Bulldozer) architecture and are nearly identical to their smaller APU brothers on socket FM2.
AMD has managed to tweak their APUs to the point where an A10-6800K performs on a similar level as the FX-4300 in CPU-bound benchmarks, but manages to squeeze in a GPU as well for graphics rendering, all while using similar amounts of power. However, AMD has not announced any plans to make an APU with more than four cores.
According to the slide, AMD may offer processors without integrated graphics for socket FM2+ for consumers who have no need for it. That would allow, for example, a higher-clocking quad-core CPU or a slightly lower-clocked eight-core chip to fit under the same power envelope.
In addition, AMD mentioned some time ago that it would be selling an APU that would be very similar to the one found in the Playstation 4. If that turns out to be an eight-core APU with GCN graphics on socket FM2+, they could have a winner on their hands.
AMD is holding a developer’s summit on 11 November to discuss the future of the APU, Mantle, the way forward with Graphics Core Next, and their relationships with game developers.