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AMD commits to socketed CPU future

AMD commits to socketed CPU future

AMD has confirmed that it has no plans to ditch user-replaceable CPUs in favour of BGA-only production, something Intel has still yet to address.

While Intel is remaining silent on rumours that its future processor families will be provided in a soldered-down ball-grid array (BGA) package only, AMD has stepped forward to publicly state that it plans to support swappable CPUs for the foreseeable future.

The rumours, attributed to industry sources speaking to a Japanese technology news site, claim that Intel is to cease production of its land-grid array (LGA) processor packages in favour of using BGA packaging throughout its product ranges. Unlike LGA, which connects to the motherboard through a zero insertion force (ZIF) socket that allows the processor to be easily removed and replaced, BGA chips are permanently soldered to the board and cannot be removed without melting the solder.

It's a technique Intel and others already use in the embedded market and for laptop processors, where the extra footprint of a ZIF socket would be unacceptable. It's also something which has been used historically in desktop systems, where early processors were sometimes soldered directly to the board when manufacturers didn't want to pay for adding sockets. In recent years, however, the practice has fallen out of fashion in favour of giving users the ability to easily swap out a processor.

For motherboard makers, it allows for a wider range of product offerings than would be possible were processors tied to a motherboard. It also allows enthusiasts to easily upgrade to a faster processor without having to change motherboards, or to replace a chip which has failed due to overclocking or a cooling experiment gone wrong.

Intel, for its part, has refused to comment on the rumours that the days of user-replaceable processors are coming to a close - leaving rival AMD an opportunity to score some points. 'AMD has a long history of supporting the DIY and enthusiast desktop market with socketed CPUs and APUs that are compatible with a wide range of motherboard products from our partners,' AMD's Chris Hook has claimed in a statement to press. 'That will continue through 2013 and 2014 with the 'Kaveri' APU and FX CPU lines. We have no plans at this time to move to BGA only packaging and look forward to continuing to support this critical segment of the market.

'As the company that introduced new types of BGA packages in ultrathin platforms several years ago, and today offers BGA-packaged processors for everything from ultrathin notebooks to all-in-one desktops, to embedded applications and tablets, we certainly understand Intel's enthusiasm for the approach. But for the desktop market, and the enthusiasts with whom AMD has built its brand, we understand what matters to them and how we can continue to bring better value and a better experience.
'

At present, AMD's statement is little more than points-scoring: Intel has not formally stated that it has any such plans to remove LGA products from its roadmap. With that said, the company has also failed to release a statement assuring customers that it will not switch to a BGA-only production schedule - leaving the door open for statements like the above from its rivals assuring enthusiasts that while Intel may or may not care about them, they can rest assured that their needs will be catered for in the future.

37 Comments

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Parge 5th December 2012, 12:16 Quote
Good to hear!

C'mon AMD - we are all rooting for you - make us a good gaming CPU!
Hustler 5th December 2012, 12:24 Quote
Future socketed CPU's guaranteed, from a company who's survival is far from guaranteed.

..not very reassuring.
Tyrmot 5th December 2012, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
Good to hear!

C'mon AMD - we are all rooting for you - make us a good gaming CPU!

+1
TheDodoKiller 5th December 2012, 12:28 Quote
It's good to hear, but this alone will not make me buy another AMD CPU.

They need to be competitive. I don't care if they can't beat i7's, but a decent competitor to an i5 that's useful for gaming will have to come.

Good luck to AMD, and Boo sucks to Intel. (On this front, at least.)
Panos 5th December 2012, 12:36 Quote
My AMD T1090 heavily overclocked on H80, has no issue to chew and spit anything.
On a FX990 running SLI 2 GTX580s :D

Idk why people complain with AMD cpus.
Griffter 5th December 2012, 12:54 Quote
might be the first time in my life i move to amd it seems... cant use the terribly false fact i have been using about amd's run hot which was or was not the case wayyyyy back when i started really building my own pc's and why i kept using intel haha
tonyd223 5th December 2012, 13:10 Quote
so, Intel are talking 10w cpu's, and the AMD cpu's eat power for breakfast... No replaceable cpu in Apples, smartphones, tablets, TV's...
borandi 5th December 2012, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panos
My AMD T1090 heavily overclocked on H80, has no issue to chew and spit anything.
On a FX990 running SLI 2 GTX580s :D

Idk why people complain with AMD cpus.

Pure performance in single threaded applications. When an i3-3225 can knock the socks off a higher clocked Piledriver based CPU, something is wrong.

Listening to some high-profile tech-oriented podcasts suggests that Broadwell be another Westmere (i.e. only selected categories) and after that Intel will be back on the socketed. Then again, Intel won't comment on the BGA rumour anyway.
Kastagir 5th December 2012, 13:35 Quote
I for one can't see what the BGA fuss is about. I honestly can't think of an occasion in the last 10 years where I have upgrade my CPU and kept my original motherboard.. I think the last time was a Slot 1 Pentium.

If BGA is the future, then I am indifferent to it.
Griffter 5th December 2012, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kastagir
I for one can't see what the BGA fuss is about. I honestly can't think of an occasion in the last 10 years where I have upgrade my CPU and kept my original motherboard.. I think the last time was a Slot 1 Pentium.

If BGA is the future, then I am indifferent to it.

now lets say ur motherboard breaks or cpu... u gonna have to by both again, well an all in one... many ppl have had unfortunate accidents and replace half the pc due to one part is not helping. and a step back to personalizing ur pc with ur money
theshadow2001 5th December 2012, 14:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kastagir
I for one can't see what the BGA fuss is about. I honestly can't think of an occasion in the last 10 years where I have upgrade my CPU and kept my original motherboard.. I think the last time was a Slot 1 Pentium.

If BGA is the future, then I am indifferent to it.

What happens if your cpu or motherboard fails. You now have to replace both instead of one. Of course there is warranty, but there is also non warranty failures, such as overclocking, water cooling leaks, second hand items. There are also those who aren't you who will upgrade their processors.Self imposed restriction is fine, but when it is imposed by someone else it is not. Anyway it's all moot because there is no significant evidence of Intel moving to BGA exclusively.

As was said in the article this is just AMD posturing on the basis of a rumour. I think it's a clever move by AMD
alpaca 5th December 2012, 14:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kastagir
I for one can't see what the BGA fuss is about. I honestly can't think of an occasion in the last 10 years where I have upgrade my CPU and kept my original motherboard.. I think the last time was a Slot 1 Pentium.

I do agree: I never upgraded my motherboard or cpu apart from each other. But my issue with BGA is not being able to pick and choose. I'm a bit budget-conscious while buying a computer, and right now I can pick up the components I like within my limits and needs. When BGA comes in, there are chances for nice deals (as BGA is cheaper) but, and this is a big BUT, only if my idea of a good combination is the same as the manufacturer...
rollo 5th December 2012, 14:20 Quote
Problem is people we are less than 1% of the market. Intel could not care less if we as enthusaists jump ship to AMD. It wont effect there bottem line ( which mostly comes from servers) and in all honesty they will probably save cash going BGA in the long term.

OEM sales to dell and its Ilk far outwiegh any sales that we could ever hope to make.

As for AMD will they still exist in 2 years is open to debate and that is the earliest we will see BGA from Intel. Haswell is already confirmed for a Socket.

The number of people even building a pc is likely to be in the tiny numbers due to most people not wanting to upgrade, I still have an old i7950 overclocked for gaming and its just as fast as any intel or amd cpu that has been released since in its designated task.

The last rig i built was for video work and i dout ill update that rig for 3-4 years.

Last parts i brought were 2 680s, Most of us have not brought a pc part outside of graphics or storage in years. ( Even my dell monitor is now 4 years old, mouse on gaming rig is still a mx518 and a old wired keyboard from the old days)

Not many people are upgrading to the latest and greatest anymore the CPU Era in computing is comming to an end, A 5 year old CPU is more than enough for 80% of the people out there whos idea for a computer is facebook and word processing.

Workstation users still demand all the power they can get they are a tiny amount of the market.
theshadow2001 5th December 2012, 14:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
When BGA comes in...

If not when
runadumb 5th December 2012, 14:32 Quote
I just ordered my first AMD processor in years, a A10-5800K (along with that sexy SUG08 case). I don't think it will fully meet the needs I have for it so, again, for the first time in years I'm really hoping to be able to do a processor swap further down the line.

As someone else said above Broadwell is expected to be very mobile based with intel returning to sockets for the next gen. Who knows for how long though.
Petrol head 5th December 2012, 15:03 Quote
I learned the hard way how to overclock and how untrustworthy some PSU's can be. My storage PC has a AMD 6400 black edition that has seen 4 motherboards and is still going strong. BGA would make me even more concious of what I attach to a motherboard.
Griffter 5th December 2012, 15:24 Quote
first its this, next its hdd's... finally all u get to buy is the equivalent of an xbox. pessimists view, my view. never trust any business man with a smile on his face with... trust me....
valve for me is the only company left doing thing really for the positivity of pc guys, and are not afraid to say they also want to make money... all the others never talk about money as much to misdirect u with fancy shiny things yet their interest is not in breaking barriers of tech but the money barrier.
tad2008 5th December 2012, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
In recent years, however, the practice has fallen out of fashion in favour of giving users the ability to easily swap out a processor.

How old are you? Is the last 20+ years considered recent then?

I can see the potential benefit of BGA to both the consumers and manufacturers if it is done right. The problem is going to be in the execution. The motherboard I have is over 5 years old and originally I bought an AMD X2 running at 2.4Ghz and sometime later AMD released an X2 running at 3Ghz. It was a couple of years after I built my original system that I made that upgrade along with a new graphics card. All it took was a Bios update and popping in the new CPU and I now had a noticeable increase in performance.

So unless manufacturers are going to make say 4 processor speeds for Enthusiast, High, Medium and Entry level PC's and charge us a lot less and in turn give us a lot more for our money then that model can only fail if the competition gives us a better alternative. Either that or we get forced to adopt it because there is no other choice, in which case, R.I.P. for the PC and everyone might as well be using a console.
dyzophoria 5th December 2012, 15:37 Quote
i have to honest all of my upgrades well sort of involved replacing everything, (for the last 10 years) and Im almost certain there has only been 2-3 motherboard failures where I had to transfer the processor to a new board, so im guessing the BGA thing is not that life threatening to me I usually replace my hardware every year
Griffter 5th December 2012, 15:59 Quote
yes but i also updated everything.. but i had a choice of getting a fast cpu and mid motherboard and expensive GPU... now u might have to fork out alot more for the top cpu cos im sure they gonna stick it to a top motherboard with all the extra on the mboard u might not want or need. 32gig space for ram, button to boost slots what have u... ummm no, i want mid motherboard so i have enough money for the cpu and GPU thanks.
Snips 5th December 2012, 16:06 Quote
So AMD rush to make guarantees on something rumoured that hasn't even been confirmed by Intel yet!

Same ol' AMD marketing spin.

'AMD has a long history of supporting the DIY and enthusiast desktop market with socketed CPUs and APUs that are compatible with a wide range of motherboard products from our partners,'

Except the DIY and enthusiast desktop market hasn't supported AMD during that 'long history' as there wasn't a good enough AMD product to use bar AMD64 which was how many years ago now but AMD fanboys still try to cling to?
phoenixck 5th December 2012, 18:41 Quote
My first few computer builds were AMD all the way. However since I got back into into this wallet meltingly expensive hobby I have been unable to justify buying a cpu from them, and this is coming from a self declared fanboy. If the gap in processing ability continues what is the enthusiast market going to do, go for a better CPU and it be a pain to upgrade, or get a second rate energy inefficient product? (especially if we see new ram come out, or a new sata or pci or....... which of course will mean we have to fork out for another cpu and mb).
devdevil85 5th December 2012, 19:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kastagir
I for one can't see what the BGA fuss is about. I honestly can't think of an occasion in the last 10 years where I have upgrade my CPU and kept my original motherboard.. I think the last time was a Slot 1 Pentium.

If BGA is the future, then I am indifferent to it.
Were you able to choose the exact mobo you wanted when you bought your CPU? BGA will severely limit your choice of mobo in the future, that's that bad part. Manufacturers won't be willing to risk offering more variety on motherboards if they're forced to solder specific CPUs to them.

But like others are saying, if either part goes bad you'll be forced to purchase a new board. You see this same thing in the laptop world with the GPU being soldered to the board. If that GPU goes out, you're pretty much forced to purchase a new board or, if it's just a solder issue, pay to have it resoldered (aka BGA reball) which can get expensive.
fdbh96 5th December 2012, 19:21 Quote
I really care if I cant change the cpu or whatever, but I imagine things will be cheaper combined and I hate putting the cpu in the socket anyway :{. What I prefer is performance which intel seems to be leading in at the moment.
dicobalt 5th December 2012, 19:22 Quote
One problem, AMD doesn't have a competitive CPU... Nevermind that though, keep sticking server CPUs into laptops and desktops that don't need 8 concurrent threads.
Kastagir 5th December 2012, 19:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
What happens if your cpu or motherboard fails. You now have to replace both instead of one. Of course there is warranty, but there is also non warranty failures, such as overclocking, water cooling leaks, second hand items. There are also those who aren't you who will upgrade their processors.Self imposed restriction is fine, but when it is imposed by someone else it is not. Anyway it's all moot because there is no significant evidence of Intel moving to BGA exclusively.

As was said in the article this is just AMD posturing on the basis of a rumour. I think it's a clever move by AMD

I agree with your points, I was only expressing my indifference.

If technological advances in CPU architecture require that future CPU's are bolted to the motherboard, then I for one welcome it. Even at the cost of choice.

Lets face it, there must be a market for interchangeable CPU's, else the major players would not offer them. IF Intel were to move to this new system, it would most likely be borne of necessity, rather than them biting off their noses..

On the subject of hardware failure: Since moving to solid state, I can categorically state that the only hardware failure I have had in recent memory is a PSU failure. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Guinevere 5th December 2012, 20:33 Quote
So the industry moves in one direction (Arm + Intel) and AMD moves in the opposite direction.

Soon enough AMD will not only have the inferior option they'll have it in a packaging that none of the OEMs can fit into their product line up because of it's physical space + power + heat requirements.

Not that it'll bother me much. Haven't owned an AMD proc in a loooong time.
Gradius 5th December 2012, 22:07 Quote
YES!

AMD FTW!
greigaitken 5th December 2012, 22:25 Quote
AMD behind the scenes
"lets go BGA like intel and save some costs, try get more oem deals too."
"how much will that cost to re-tool the fabs?"
"0.5 billion but we'll save more in long run"
"if we spend that then we have to shed another 10% of staff - that means you"
"AMD commits to sockets forever!!"
rollo 5th December 2012, 22:36 Quote
wont make a blind bit of difference to the future or lack of for AMD.

AMD needs to hit a killer product that is not only fast but good on power.

Recent AMD GPU products have followed the nvidia 480 mode. ultra fast ultra hot ultra noisy and very energy heavy. 7970 at reference sounds like a aircraft at takeoff.

There cpu products have not been competitive since the AMD 64 era or late FX60 chip. Since Core 2 Duo was released intel have had a sizeable lead in both power and speed.

If you take the 2 top end cpus from both manufactures the difference in performance is insane. Yes i know there is a cost difference but your getting double or tripple the cpu if your doing video work or anything that can use the 6c6t that the 3960k offers. Performance in the business sector where that sort of cpu is required Time = money.

AMD are not doing this because they simply dont have 0.5billion spare to do this with. 3 more quaters of losses and AMD are facing bankrupt that is the simple facts.

Without the 1bil Intel give AMD we would be already be writing AMDS death notice.
Harlequin 5th December 2012, 22:53 Quote
Intel are allready making BGA server chips - broadwell will be BGA ... as the industry move to ARM (as AMD are going in that direction) - intel are stuck with X86
SAimNE 5th December 2012, 23:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
so, Intel are talking 10w cpu's, and the AMD cpu's eat power for breakfast... No replaceable cpu in Apples, smartphones, tablets, TV's...

the low end amd cpus are anything but power hungry. apus have an acceptable power draw for a processor, and they include a decent level of graphics along with that.... and while you may argue that intel includes graphics as well, you have to note the "decent level" part of my statement. Anyway, while the, RUMORED,10w cpus would be very impressive, it still doesnt change the fact that amds processors go everywhere from low to high on current power draw standards.

Im a confessed amd fanboy, and one fanboy to another i will tell you that just because you love a company, it doesnt give you leeway to ignore the facts present in reality. So prior to ranting about what you read in your intel fanboy news letters, please make sure to get some statistics, and fact check to at least the level fox news does.
rollo 5th December 2012, 23:41 Quote
Market place for CPUs is getting smaller by the year. At the low end profits are close to none existant so intel has never competed to get that market. There I3 Cpus are still as fast as any AMD Cpu in single threaded applications.

AMD makes good low end CPUs the problem is, Companys like Dell do not sell alot of AMD product to there millions of customers.

AMD have lost the critical server market where profits are still high and rising.

Enthusaist market is less than 1% and is not worth discussion.

You have 2 markets for cash.

Mass consumer driven dell lenova ect all fighting for the consumer basic pc box.
Server High end performance is key along with power effiency and heat produced.

Intel acording to latest released sales figures now accounts for 90% of all server market related purchases, which pushed intel to a nice profit.

Sales of Consumer CPUs continue to fall due to most high end nations in a recession still and refusing to spend money on needless products.

There GPU devision sales break down reads for the last 4 quaters

Break Even
-26mil
Break Even
+26mil

In that time AMD lost 820million dollars. Intel Give them 1billion dollars or we would not be discussing there next product release as they simply would not exist. ( without Intels cash AMD made a net loss of 1.75billion dollars)

aka its break even for the year. AMDs Purchase of ATI has yet to make Break even ( they paid 4billion dollars for ATI.)

Power Draw is relivent to 1 market place and its the market that AMD must fight to get back or they will cease to exist. The server market demands High Performance Low power usage.

AMD does not have a chip that fits this requirement currently.

Personally id prefer AMD survived wether it will happen or not i am not sure. I have owned about 10 AMD products in the last 8 years or so. 3 intel.
Evolutionsic 6th December 2012, 08:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Market place for CPUs is getting smaller by the year. At the low end profits are close to none existant so intel has never competed to get that market. There I3 Cpus are still as fast as any AMD Cpu in single threaded applications.

AMD makes good low end CPUs the problem is, Companys like Dell do not sell alot of AMD product to there millions of customers.

AMD have lost the critical server market where profits are still high and rising.

Enthusaist market is less than 1% and is not worth discussion.

You have 2 markets for cash.

Mass consumer driven dell lenova ect all fighting for the consumer basic pc box.
Server High end performance is key along with power effiency and heat produced.

Intel acording to latest released sales figures now accounts for 90% of all server market related purchases, which pushed intel to a nice profit.

Sales of Consumer CPUs continue to fall due to most high end nations in a recession still and refusing to spend money on needless products.

There GPU devision sales break down reads for the last 4 quaters

Break Even
-26mil
Break Even
+26mil

In that time AMD lost 820million dollars. Intel Give them 1billion dollars or we would not be discussing there next product release as they simply would not exist. ( without Intels cash AMD made a net loss of 1.75billion dollars)

aka its break even for the year. AMDs Purchase of ATI has yet to make Break even ( they paid 4billion dollars for ATI.)

Power Draw is relivent to 1 market place and its the market that AMD must fight to get back or they will cease to exist. The server market demands High Performance Low power usage.

AMD does not have a chip that fits this requirement currently.

Personally id prefer AMD survived wether it will happen or not i am not sure. I have owned about 10 AMD products in the last 8 years or so. 3 intel.

Why would intel give their competitors 1 billion??
Harlequin 6th December 2012, 08:16 Quote
Quote:

thats next year - broadwell is classed as `long term`
rollo 6th December 2012, 12:32 Quote
The intel cash is for fines I think in relation to something no real clue I just know intel give AMD 1bil uncontested.
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