Together with AMD's Bulldozer processors, that are set to launch in the second quarter of the year, the Sunnyvale-based company will also release a new series of motherboard chipsets, some early leeks providing the very first details about these upcoming solutions.
The new chipsets will be launched under the 900-series designation and use the AM3+ processor socket
Just like before, AMD has split its 900-series logic into three different SKUs, each catering to a different market segment, although they all share a set of common features.
Starting things off is the 990FX chipset, that packs 40 PCI Express lanes, split into dual PCIe x16 and a set of other eight lanes that can be configured just at the motherboard manufacturer wishes, as well as a SB950 south bridge.
This is the most powerful of the upcoming chipsets and allows for true PCIe 16x CrossFireX setups.
Next in line is the 990X that drops the dual PCI Express x16 support in favor of a pair of PCIe x8 slots, the smallest member of the 900-series family being the 970 that lacks any sort of CrossFire support.
However, it is expected that motherboard manufacturers will pair the 970 with third-party solutions such as Lucid's Hydra in order to enable dual-GPU gaming.
Shortly, after the introduction of these three chipsets, a forth one is expected, the 980G, which will bring integrated graphics to Bulldozer
All of the 900-series motherboard chipsets feature SATA 6Gbps with TRIM support, RAID 0/1/10/5, IOMMU I/O virtualization, as well as USB 3.0 support.
Next to AM3+ CPUs, the boards will also support AM3 processors, such as the Phenom II and the Athlon II.
According to donanimhaber
, the same website that provided us with the AMD
slides, motherboard makers are expected to introduce 900-series models in March, during the CeBIT 2011 exhibition.