Chipsets and Mainboards
Llano processor is not the only component of the Lynx platform. It also uses corresponding core logic sets. Since the APU already contains the memory and PCI Express bus controllers, the chipsets consist of only one chip – the South Bridge also known as FCH (Fusion Controller Hub).
AMD currently offers two FCH modifications: junior A55 and senior A75. The higher-end model has native support for all contemporary interfaces, including USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps. The lower-end model can’t boast the same luxury and supports only old SATA 3 Gbps and USB 2.0 interfaces.
The flow-chart below illustrates the functionality of the A75 FCH very well:
The following table sums up the formal specifications of all FCH modifications:
Mainboards for desktop Llano processors based on the above described chipsets come with a special Socket FM1. In other words, they are incompatible with the existing Socket AM3 CPUs. Of course, Llano also cannot be installed into any of the old mainboards.
Socket FM1 is of similar size as the common Socket AM3, although it has significantly different number of pins – 905. All these pins are necessary to ensure that the CPU is connected not only with the chipset and the memory sub-system, but also with the PCI Express x16 graphics bus and monitors.
Almost all leading mainboard manufacturers have already prepared mainboards with the new processor socket, so Llano owners won’t have any problems finding the right mainboard.
As for the cooling systems, AMD tried to maintain compatibility with the existing infrastructure, so the old Socket AM3 coolers will work just fine with the new processors.