With the upcoming Piledriver processors from AMD expected later this year you’d probably expected a chipset change from AMD. We can confirm now, according to sources, that AMD’s South Bridge chipset will bear no changes although we have not been informed about the rest of the chipset yet.
The South Bridge chipset will remain as the SB950 that is found on the current 990FX, 990X and 970 series motherboards. This chipset is set to remain until at least mid 2013 but could possibly extend later than that if AMD’s culture of delaying everything is anything to go by.
The South Bridge is perhaps the less important part of the chipset component, offering up USB, SATA, RAID and 4 lanes of PCI connectivity. The current SB950 provides 14 USB 2.0 ports, Two USB 1.1 ports, Four PCIe 1X lanes at Gen 2 speeds, 6 SATA III ports and RAID 0/1/5/10.
The SB950 is in the 605-pin FCGBGA package and is pin compatible to the older SB850 Southbridge making it easy to integrate. The TDP stays at 6W.
As far as the rest of the chipset is concerned – we are not sure what changes AMD will make with the PCI Express connectivity, a transition to generation 3 will be required at some stage although we don’t think Piledriver will bring that transition. If it doesn’t then Steam Roller in late 2013 almost certainly should.