AMD Preps to Switch to Socket S1, Socket M2, Socket F

AMD Readies New Form-Factors for ’06 Processors

by Anton Shilov
05/10/2005 | 04:32 AM

Advanced Micro Devices is reported to be preparing three new types of sockets for central processing units in 2006. Depending on the target market, AMD will have different processor form-factors for laptops, desktops and servers starting from mid-2006, if the reports are correct.


For desktop and uniprocessor workstations AMD supposedly readies the so-called Socket M2, which will have 940-pins, but will not be compatible with existing Socket 940 infrastructure. DigiTimes web-site claims that the Socket M2 will be used for AMD Sempron, AMD Athlon 64, AMD Athlon 64 FX and AMD Opteron 100-series processors and will substitute existing Socket 754, Socket 939 and Socket 940 desktop and workstation infrastructure. For AMD Opteron processors for 2P and MP servers AMD reportedly prepares a 1207-pin Socket F that will be utilized instead of Socket 940. For mobile computers AMD is expected to offer Socket S1 with 638-pins, which will replace existing Socket 754 for laptops.

Socket S1 and Socket M2. Photo by web-site

By using different form-factors and retention mechanisms for different processors AMD diversifies its product lineup and may more thoroughly control pricing of the final products. For instance, the majority of Socket 939 mainboards use 4-layer print circuit boards (PCBs), whereas virtually all Socket 940 platforms utilize 6-layer PCBs, which makes AMD Opteron 100-series computers more expensive compared to AMD Athlon 64-based systems that offer the same performance.

The Socket M2 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. It is known that all of such central processing units are to be produced using 90nm silicon-on-insulator fabrication process. It is likely that the Windsor, Orleans and Manila will support dual-channel DDR2 memory controller, while Windsor and Orleans will also have support for Pacifica, AMD virtualization technology, and Presidio, AMD security capability.

AMD Socket M2 processors are projected have similar, or slightly higher, thermal design power (TDP) compared to their predecessors: the top-of-the-range AMD Athlon 64 FX will have 125W TDP, single-core chips will have 104W TDP and dual-core processors will have 110W TDP, according to a document presumably by Advanced Micro Devices released earlier this year. The forthcoming Socket M2 mainboards are claimed to require support up to 95A current, up from today’s 80A.

It is unknown, for what extra pins of Socket F are needed, but it is likely that the form-factor may have some headroom for improvements in terms of functionality or the number of processing engines per microprocessor.

Officials for AMD did not comment on the news-story.