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Advanced Micro Devices’ next-generation server AMD Opteron processors with enhanced set of features may use land-grid array (LGA) packaging and sockets, according to pictures published by a web-site. While the LGA packaging provides numerous benefits to AMD, mainboards with such a socket will cost more to be made.

A forum member of web-site has posted several pictures of what is claimed to be Socket 1207, also known as Socket F, which is expected to be used for next-generation AMD Opteron processors for servers and workstations that support registered DDR2 SDRAM, virtualization technology Pacifica, advanced security feature Presidio as well as some other enhancements. The chips are projected to emerge in 2006.

While earlier some unofficial sources assumed that the Socket F would have 1206 or 1207 pins, it was generally thought that the Socket F will use conventional socketing mechanism with pins located onto the central processing unit’s (CPU’s) packaging. However, it seems that AMD decided to use LGA casing for the future chips, as LGA typically provides both a high density range and interface wipe for a reliable, long-term electrical connection from the microprocessor to the printed circuit board, according to sockets manufacturer Tyco Electronics. Thanks to more reliable contact, CPU maker may increase the processor bus speed and memory speed, something which AMD officially wanted to do with the Opteron in future.

AMD Socket F. Click to enlarge

Even though from technology point of view LGA sockets are more reliable and advanced for high-speed applications, they cost more than conventional sockets. For instance, Intel’s Socket 775 used to be priced at $7 when introduced, which is why mainboard manufacturers complained about that. Nevertheless, the cost of a socket is not critical for enterprise-class servers with two, four or more processors, as pricing of such systems is already high enough due to other reasons.

AMD also readies traditional Socket S1 and Socket M2

Advanced Micro Devices does not comment on unreleased products.


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