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AMD announces AM1 platform: socketed Kabini

AMD announces AM1 platform: socketed Kabini

AMD AM1 processor

AMD has announced a new addition to its platform range with the low-cost, low-power AMD AM1 platform.

The new platform is based on the existing Kabini processors that AMD introduced earlier this year and which are meant for use in portable form factors like laptops and tablets. However, where those processors are generally soldered to the board the AM1 platform uses an interchangable socketed processor mounting.

This new mounting is called FS1b and it looks just like a smaller version of AMD's existing socketed platforms, with CPUs incorporating the pins and the motherboard providing the sockets. This is in contrast to Intel's mounting system which uses flexible pins in the motherboard socket and gold pads on the CPU itself.

AMD is aiming at creating a platform which can provide both a CPU and motherboard for around $60 yet still provide upgradeability. This is in response to emerging markets which have requested upgradeable low-cost systems. In comparison, an FM2 system can be had for around $90.

AMD already has on board most of the major motherboard manufacturers, with stock already in stores. Most will be microATX with a couple of mini-ITX options available too.

The Kabini processors are essentially variations on their laptop counterparts with up to four Jaguar based CPU cores, a single memory controller supporting up to 1600 MHz memory and a GPU element with128 streaming processors from the Graphics Core Next architecture.

This is an SoC style chip so there is no chipset on the motherboard and all IO is on the CPU itself. This will consist of two SATA 6 Gbps ports, two USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, four PCIe 2.0 lanes and a trio of video outputs (DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA).

As the four PCIe lanes will have hinted at, this is a platform unsuitable for high-end graphics cards, with support for dual-graphics not on the cards either. The single-channel memory will also be quite limiting when it comes to overall compute bandwidth.

CPU overclocking will also not be an option, though limited memory overclocking may be. Also confirmed is that there isn't likely going to be an 8-core variant with limited GPU or a dual-core version with a larger GPU - AMD is focussing on quad-core only.

The new platform's main rival is the desktop version of Intel's Bay Trail. As AMD rightly points out, the main advantage of AM1 will be that it is upgradeable where Bay Trail is not. However, Bay trail is also a lower-power platform - 10-15W compared to 25W - and it supports dual-channel memory.

AMD AM1 motherboards are already up on some etailers though the official release date isn't until April.

AMD announces AM1 platform: socketed Kabini

AMD announces AM1 platform: socketed Kabini

AMD announces AM1 platform: socketed Kabini

AMD announces AM1 platform: socketed Kabini

14 Comments

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MrJay 4th March 2014, 22:00 Quote
Nice idea for embedded solutions, should offer allot more flexibility when it comes to cooling too. I like the way they are marketing XP support as a plus : P
Pookie 4th March 2014, 22:23 Quote
AMD do good job of keeping sockets alive and in some cases backwards compatability for CPU support. I noticed the emerging markets comment in there. For some parts of the world Windows 98 is the norm and affordable hardware to run XP would be welcome.
play_boy_2000 4th March 2014, 22:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie
I noticed the emerging markets comment in there. For some parts of the world Windows 98 is the norm and affordable hardware to run XP would be welcome.

I somehow doubt that. The first world exports so much ewaste to the third world that they burn it to recover the precious metals. I'm sure they have their pick of hardware and even legit-ish XP and vista OEM licenses that come with the hardware.
Anfield 5th March 2014, 00:11 Quote
Of the 15 mainboards mentioned only 2 are mini-itx? disappointing.
jrs77 5th March 2014, 08:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield
Of the 15 mainboards mentioned only 2 are mini-itx? disappointing.

Gigabyte also has a mITX-board for Kabini. Not sure why it's not listed.

Anyways... where's the thin mITX-ones with an onboard-PSU?
Bindibadgi 5th March 2014, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Gigabyte also has a mITX-board for Kabini. Not sure why it's not listed.

Anyways... where's the thin mITX-ones with an onboard-PSU?

thin mini-ITX is an Intel standard, effectively making it a niche or a niche.
schmidtbag 5th March 2014, 14:42 Quote
Anyone else confused by the name? Why are they calling it AM1? There's already AM2 and AM3, so it seems like this naming scheme is already at a dead end.

If anyone can supply a pico ITX board for a price point like this, I'd be far more interested. Intel has some pretty tiny boards but I'm looking for something smaller, cheaper, and less awkward to work with. Most of the intel embedded systems have the stupidest layouts.
jrs77 5th March 2014, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
thin mini-ITX is an Intel standard, effectively making it a niche or a niche.

Then atleast release a normal one with onboard-PSU. The AT5IONT-I Deluxe for example was the best mITX-board for building a HTPC. Actually it still is, as the Atom330 paired with the 9400m is totally capable of FullHD-playback, while only drawing some 30W from the pluck including a BluRay-drive.
Bindibadgi 6th March 2014, 02:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Then atleast release a normal one with onboard-PSU. The AT5IONT-I Deluxe for example was the best mITX-board for building a HTPC. Actually it still is, as the Atom330 paired with the 9400m is totally capable of FullHD-playback, while only drawing some 30W from the pluck including a BluRay-drive.

I do hear you and we need to focus on bettering whole system low-power! But afaik, didn't sell so well as onboard DC-DC means you have to have a compatible power brick, which very few shops stock.

I'm not sure if it's possible without a fixed CPU as well - I've yet to see it.

What we really need is PSUs where the double-digit power efficiency is 90+%. When you get down below ~30-40W any gains in system power efficiency are immediately lost in PSU inefficiency. How good are PicoPSUs?
jrs77 6th March 2014, 08:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
I do hear you and we need to focus on bettering whole system low-power! But afaik, didn't sell so well as onboard DC-DC means you have to have a compatible power brick, which very few shops stock.

I'm not sure if it's possible without a fixed CPU as well - I've yet to see it.

What we really need is PSUs where the double-digit power efficiency is 90+%. When you get down below ~30-40W any gains in system power efficiency are immediately lost in PSU inefficiency. How good are PicoPSUs?

Well, the thin mITX-boards have onboard PSUs and an external 90W powerbrick, while sporting a standard 1155/1150 socket. Sure, you're limited to 65W CPUs, but that's good enough imho.

Yes, picoPSUs would be feasible aswell, but the circuitry is so small, that it wouldn't be a problem to include it on the boards. Efficiency is 90+% for them aswell.

And compatibility shouldn't be a problem, if you stick to 8-19V widerange-input and the usual round connector found in notebooks.
Bindibadgi 6th March 2014, 09:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Well, the thin mITX-boards have onboard PSUs and an external 90W powerbrick, while sporting a standard 1155/1150 socket. Sure, you're limited to 65W CPUs, but that's good enough imho.

Yes, picoPSUs would be feasible aswell, but the circuitry is so small, that it wouldn't be a problem to include it on the boards. Efficiency is 90+% for them aswell.

And compatibility shouldn't be a problem, if you stick to 8-19V widerange-input and the usual round connector found in notebooks.

Ah I don't remember seeing any with onboard power.

I guess it's a factor of volume. We can probably expect to ship as many of these boards we do the niche thin mini-ITX. Therefore making a niche of a niche within AM1 is not worth it. You can do a lot of things, but ROI just isn't there. :/
Harlequin 6th March 2014, 09:58 Quote
That's the `problem` - you start looking at a niche within a niche and commercial viability becomes a factor , design , build alpha prototype , back to drawing board and redesign , another prototype , testing for compliance and maybe redesign again - all costs time and money , for what sadly is a very small market.
IvanIvanovich 6th March 2014, 14:21 Quote
There are a lot of itx and other smaller form factor motherboards that are made with integrated power for industrial, thin client and etc markets... have never been sure why those aren't marketed for htpc as well. Maybe if the tiniest bit of aesthetics were applied to those industrial motherboards they would be an easier sell to consumer side and need for less models.
The other big problem is when the choice is made to use some bizarre power connector and not include it either. That is the reason those models are not bought.
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