Scorpius and Lynx platforms from AMD arrive in 2011

AMD desktop 32nm plans make a showing

IT SEEMS SOMEONE has outed AMD’s desktop platforms all the way up to 2011 and, you guessed it, AMD will be breaking in the new 32nm toys.

According to the material published on, AMD’s 2011 desktop platforms will be called Scorpius and Lynx, addressing the Enthusiast and Mainstream segments, respectively.

Scorpius (2011) is the follow-up to Leo (2010), which itself is the follow-up to the current Dragon platform. Leo had already been confirmed as AMD’s enthusiast platform for 2010, sporting the Thuban 6-core Deneb-derived CPU and making use of the upgraded RD890 and SB850 chips. This will add an integrated RV810, DX11 graphics core to the fray.

In 2010, the Athlon II will remain the processor of choice in the mainstream platform Dorado, together with an RS880P+SB810 chipsets (IGP inclusive). Not much of an evolution, granted, but it should be able to hold the mainstream fort. As prices on DDR3 reach DDR2 levels, you’ll be able to move up in life, on the cheap.

Now the really interesting bits. According to the slide, Scorpius, will include the 32nm-built Zambezi CPU that features at least four cores with an integrated DDR3 controller and straddling a Revision 2 Socket AM3. The platform will aim to have RV9xx discrete graphics driving the games.

Zambezi will really have to shine, though. It needs to outperform its 6-core Thuban predecessor and put up a convincing act to get people to switch, all in one fell swoop. It’ll also be facing Intel’s best and brightest.

In the mainstream segment Lynx, as it will be known, will herald the Llano APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), also on a 32nm process, featuring four cores and a single GPU core to power graphics. It will include the usual integrated DDR3 controller, but no reference to supporting chipsets is made. The slideware doesn’t detail the core, but we hear this will be a head-to-toe monolithic design.

With these introductions, AMD will be a full year behind Intel, which is pushing for a quick Q1/2010 introduction of its own 32nm CPUs. From what we’ve seen so far, the only reason for Intel not to do this will be a lack of resistance. Intel will push, but no one is pushing back chez AMD, so no pressure to hit the market with something new and shiny. This has happened in the past, especially with Q1 introductions – Q1 being the notoriously deader-than-a-dodo quarter of each year.

On the other hand, AMD has made an art form of making up for lost time, just like it did on Deneb and 45nm. That didn’t turn out too bad, now did it? S|A

UPDATE 1 – due to the uncontrollable urge to get this published, we mistakenly called Scorpius ‘Zambezi’ in the original title. We beg your forgiveness. Scorpius is the platform, Zambezi the CPU.

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