Advanced Micro Devices has reportedly chosen to take a rather conservative approach to development of its desktop platforms. Instead of adding support of the DDR4 memory to its next-generation code-named “Carrizo” accelerated processing unit, the company decided to stick to the DDR3 and therefore the FM2+ socket. While this is a good news for owners of current-generation platforms and PC makers, it also means that the evolution of AMD’s platforms will slowdown.
Earlier this year it transpired from a document aimed at developers that AMD’s upcoming “Carrizo” accelerated processing units (with Excavator x86 cores and Radeon “Volcanic Islands” GCN 3.0 graphics engine) supports both DDR3 and DDR4 types of memory. While it was clearly said that the “Carrizo” was compatible with the FM2+ platform, the support of DDR4 implied that there will be other platforms with the new memory support as well as other innovations.
Apparently, something has changed in AMD’s plans. According to Bitsandchips.it, the desktop Carrizo APUs from AMD will exclusively support the DDR3 memory and will thus fit only into the FM2+ sockets. As a result, the FM2+ will remain on the market till 2016, whereas AMD desktop platforms will not support the DDR4 memory for quite a while. Given the fact that AMD officially supports DDR3 at 2133MHz transfer-rate, the support for DDR4 memory would not provide it a lot of advantages in case of “Carrizo”, which is pretty similar to “Kaveri”.
From AMD’s presentation released in November, 2013, it is obvious that the “Carrizo”/”Toronto” silicon (“Toronto” is a server version of “Carrizo” SoC) does support DDR4 memory, hence, dropping its support from the desktop version of the APU was something AMD did intentionally. The main reason why AMD could do this is pretty clear: the company does not want to support two different desktop APU platforms. It is possible that server-class “Toronto” APUs due next year will support the new memory type.
It looks like DDR4 memory will be supported only by AMD’s platforms due in 2016. Unfortunately, we know almost nothing about AMD’s plans for 2016, except the fact that by that time the company is expected to roll-out an all-new high-performance microprocessor architecture developed under supervision of the legendary Jim Keller.
AMD did not comment on the news-story.
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KitGuru Says: AMD is traditionally very conservative when it comes to support of new types of memory. Since the DDR3 will most likely be more affordable that the DDR4 next year, such approach is justified. However, this indirectly proves that AMD’s next-generation APUs will simply not need a new type of memory and their performance will not be limited by memory bandwidth simply because that performance will not be considerably higher compared to today’s APUs.