Previously, a number of lower-end AMD APUs were sold to end-users in the form of soldered-on package. Designed for the budget market, this means that users are not able to purchase just the APU chip alone since it is soldered directly into the motherboard.
That is not the case with the brand new AMD AM1 platform, even though it is still designed for the budget segment of the market with a starting price that is less than RM 200.
The AMD AM1 platform features a brand new socket called FS1b that is made for a new line-up of AMD Kabini APUs that will be positioned under Athlon and Sempron brand. Even though AMD didn’t listed down these APUs out right, the AMD Kabini APUs for AM1 platform is said to feature up to four AMD Jaguar CPU cores alongside a GPU that is based on the company’s Graphics Core Next architecture.
One of the noticeable feature of AMD AM1-based motherboard is the absent of chipset within them. This is due to the fact that the components within a traditional chipset such as memory controller, and other I/O controllers are located on the Kabini-based APU itself. Despite that, users will still able to replace the APU with another AM1-based APU which is why AMD called the AM1 platform as the “Socketed Kabini”.
GIGABYTE GA-AM1M-S2P, one of the first motherboard to be based on AMD AM1 platform.
The new AMD AM1 platform also comes with the support for USB 3.0, SATA 6GB/s, DirectX 11.2, DDR3-1600MHz memory, 16GB maximum memory, and Windows 8.1 in both 32-bit as well as 64-bit flavour. Several manufacturers are already committed to the new platform such as ASRock, ASUS, BIOSTAR, ECS, Gigabyte and MSI who will be releasing motherboards in micro-ATX and mini-ITX form factors.
Scheduled for release in select regions in early April with global availability from April 9 onwards, AMD estimated that the starting price for a combined AM1 APU and motherboard package will be at USD 60 (RM 197) which certainly fit the market that the platform is aimed at. As for our own market, we have yet to hear any release information from AMD Malaysia at the time being.