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While Advanced Micro Devices is reportedly preparing a new socket for 2006 introduction, the company’s current 939-pin infrastructure is likely to live a long life, the company says. But it is unclear how long processors in current form-factor continue to evolve.

“We strive to provide our customers with a stable computing platform for as long as possible. Current AMD64 sockets will serve our customers well into the future. Eventually, technology takes strides that require revisiting the way components interact within a PC to improve performance, stability and value,” an AMD spokesperson told X-bit labs.

On Wednesday X-bit labs reported about the Socket M2 that is set to be introduced across the range of AMD desktop microprocessors, including performance, mainstream and value chips, in the first half of 2006. The chips that will be intended for the Socket M2 infrastructure are currently known under Windsor, Orleans and Manila code-names. Thermal and other specifications for the Socket M2 products are unknown, but it is known that all of such central processing units are to be produced using 90nm silicon-on-insulator fabrication process.

When chipmakers introduce new sockets, they usually cease evolution of previous-generation infrastructure: after a new socket emerges, the maximum older can get is one or two fast processors. Usually AMD moves previous-generation sockets into entry-level markets and then broadens family of low-cost AMD Sempron processors for the infrastructure.

“Socket 754 is mature and with that maturity come value-priced mainboards that are perfect to serve AMD Sempron’s market for quite a while. Socket 939 is young and virile with a long life ahead of it,” the spokesperson added.

“Certainly AMD is always planning and designing for future products. But current sockets have good life ahead of them… We can’t give specific lifespans because customer demand is a huge factor in determining how long we support a socket,” the official concluded.

In mid-2005 Sunnyvale, California-based Advanced Micro Devices is projected by unofficial sources to introduce AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 processor for Socket 939 infrastructure. In future AMD may also release dual-core chips for 939-pin infrastructure.


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