A system in a socket
It's on like Donkey Kong between AMD and Intel in the low-cost computing space. In the blue corner is Intel with its Bay Trail platform, and in the green corner is AMD, which just introduced its AM1 platform featuring a socketed quad-core or dual-core Kabini SoC. Put another way, take a Kabini APU and combine it with a socketed FS1b motherboard with a pin-grid-array (PGA) and you have the AM1 platform.
This is AMD's first "system in a socket" offering. The Kabini chips will sport up to four Jaguar CPU cores, a memory controller supporting up to DDR3-1600, a Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, and various I/O functions (two SATA 6Gbps, two USB 3.0, eight USB 2.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA). All of this will exist in the APU; supporting motherboards lack a chipset to keep costs down.
"AMD continues our APU technology leadership by introducing the AM1 platform with ‘Socketed Kabini’, an APU designed for the mainstream market," said Bernd Lienhard , corporate vice president and general manager, Client Business Unit, AMD. "The AM1 platform gives us a great opportunity to deliver a flexible infrastructure environment, and provides a multitude of options for consumers and system builders looking for upgradeability packed into an extremely affordable solution."
AMD is particularly proud at how its AM1 platform stacks up against Intel's Bay Trail, the latter of which the Sunnyvale chip designer calls a "dead end platform." AM1 supports more memory, faster memory, more flavors of Windows, and has an upgradeable socket.