It's been recently rumored that Intel is taking steps towards a socket-less future, perhaps sooner than you think. The rumor originates from a Japanese website, which reported that Broadwell, the 14nm successor to next year's Haswell, would not come in an LGA package. Such a scenario would effectively neuter the enthusiast DIY market, and AMD wants no part of the castration process, at least not in the near future.
Let's back up a moment. According to PC Watch and a few other websites, Intel's Broadwell architecture is switching from a land grid array to a ball grid array (BGA), which could lead to soldering CPUs directly to the motherboard. Intel hasn't confirmed the rumor, so it could turn out to be a bunch of poppycock. It also hasn't denied the report.
AMD has spoken up, however, telling Nathan Kirsch at Legit Reviews that it understands the need for socketed processors in the desktop market and is fully committed to keeping it that way.
"AMD has a long history of supporting the DIY and enthusiast desktop market with socketed CPUs and APUs that are compatible with a wide range of motherboard products from our partners. That will continue through 2013 and 2014 with the 'Kaveri' APU and FX CPU lines," Gary Silcott, Corporate Communications of AMD Client Products, told Kirsch in an email. "We have no plans at this time to move to BGA only packaging and look forward to continuing to support this critical segment of the market."
The Sunnyvale chip designer went on to offer Intel a backhanded compliment of sorts, adding that "we [AMD] certainly understand Intel's enthusiasm" for BGA, and that AMD itself introduced new types of BGA packages in ultrahin platforms several years ago, "but for the desktop market, and the enthusiasts with whom AMD has built its brand, we understand what matters to them and how we can continue to bring better value and a better experience."
Let's hope AMD sticks around long enough to keep its promise.