The AM4 platform will supplant AM3+ and FM2+. AM3 first shipped in 2009 and was refreshed to AM3+ in 2011, both are PGA (pin-grid array) sockets with pins on-chip. The AM3+ platform is ancient by the tech industry’s standards and natively supports neither USB3.x nor PCI-e 3.0. USB3.x support is only added through aftermarket controllers soldered to the board, as the chipset is only built for USB2.0 I/O.
Zen, the new CPU architecture, is rumored for preparedness to ship in 2H16. The architecture follows AMD’s FX line, consisting of the troubled Bulldozer launch, Steamroller, Piledriver, and Excavator. Excavator was intended as the last of the construction-themed micro-architectures.
With AM4 motherboards rumored, assuming Planet3DNow’s sources are good, for a March launch, we can expect a shift of Carrizo APUs to desktop as AMD ramps into Zen.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.