The next APU architecture from AMD, Kabini, won’t debut with motherboard chipsets, rather be soldered on them.
Next “K” APU is Kabini
Kabini APUs, which would succeed the Kaveri APUs are expected to be based on the AMD’s standalone version of the Desktop CPUs from Athlon and Sempron families. It is also quite noticeable that this series of APUs won’t debut along a new motherboard chipset, instead, it would be a SoC which would be soldered and hardwired into the supported motherboard, therefore, AMD decided there is no need for releasing a new chipset and this would swipe clean the motherboards sporting them.
Gigabyte introduces two new boards featuring Kabini
Gigabyte recently released two new mainboards namely, “GA-AM1M-S2P” and “GA-AM1M-S2H”. The APU socket would be an AM1 (previously codenamed as FS1B) and the ultimate proof to this is the motherboard names, generally according to the Gigabyte’s nomenclature system, the alphanumeric right after the “GA” indicates the chipset name, since AMD didn’t launch the chipset for Kabini APUs, therefore the socket name replaces the chipset name in the motherboard name.
Kabini supported motherboard specifications
Both the newly introduced boards are mostly alike and have a lot in common features like mATX form factor, 2x DDR3-1600 MHz SDRAM slots which support Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP), 2x SATA III 6Gb/s interface headers, Realtek Gigabit LAN, ALC887 eight channel sound card, along with rear panel ports like, 2x PS/2 for keyboards and mice, VGA port, 2x USB 3.0 ports with Electro Static Discharge (ESD) protection and individual fuse per USB port, 2x USB 2.0 and three audio ports.
Closer look at the two boards
This board is mainly aimed towards commercial areas and features Gigabyte’s fourth generation Ultra Durable (Ultra Durable 4) standard components like all solid capacitors and high efficiency chokes to increase the efficiency, durability and longevity of the board, Dual UEFI BIOS is a Gigabyte standard facility. Expansion options include a PCI Express x16 slot which actually runs at x4 bandwidth, a PCI Express x1 slot, single PCI slot and the Rear ports include a Serial and Parallel ports.
This board is mainly built for a more domestic use contrary to the S2P sibling and only stand out features compared to S2P are all solid capacitors, 2x PCI Express x1 slots and the rear panel has a HDMI port instead of Serial and Parallel ports. Rest all is same as S2P counterpart. One more distinct rather strange difference between the 2 boards is that the Heatsink/Soutbridge is over the PCI Express/ PCI bridge controller chip on S2P while the S2H has its ITE I/O controller chip under the heatsink.
Conclusion- Omit new chipset. Smart move?
Both the boards are listed as the motherboards of the future, and the price is expected to be as low as $50, but the processor is said to be not listed in china. AMD joins Intel’s league by developing embedded SoC like Atom but the purpose isn’t same. Atom are more aimed to save power while Kabini is a more versatile GPU+CPU which is not so power saving. Soldering the APU does have some drawbacks as well like the upgradability is restricted and one has to stick to the same APU or buy a new APU+Motherboard.