Purported Llano test board has USB 3.0 header

— 5:39 PM on May 9, 2011

The folks over at VR-Zone have snagged a picture of what they claim to be an AMD Llano development motherboard. The mobo features an FM1 socket, which we already caught a glimpse of last month, as well as a number of bits and pieces obviously designed for testing.

One of the board's interesting characteristics is a blue header near the lone PCI slot at the far left. VR-Zone reckons that's a USB 3.0 header, which would be an encouraging feature to include on any kind of reference board design. Right now, users wanting front-panel USB 3.0 connectivity usually have to use cables that poke outside the case and into the board's rear I/O panel. That method simply relocates the ports, while using a header on the motherboard ought to add extra ports at the front.

USB 3.0 headers aren't a new concept, as SemiAccurate reported last Spring, but they're still not mainstream by any stretch of the term. Here's hoping they show up on cheap Llano motherboards.

Other notable attributes of the development board include a single-chip I/O hub with a little heatsink and fan on it, PCI Express x16 and x4 slots, and multiple display outputs, including VGA and DisplayPort. I'd expect retail designs to trade the tiny fan and heatsink combo for a larger, passive heatsink, but we'll have to see what Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI whip up.

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