AMD's FX family won't get a Steamroller update next year


— 6:00 AM on November 15, 2013

If you were hoping the Kaveri APU's Steamroller CPU cores would make their way into AMD's FX processor lineup, I have some bad news. The company's latest roadmap (PDF) shows Piledriver-based FX processors persisting through 2014. The FX family could be updated after that, but it looks like no major changes are planned for next year.

On the desktop, AMD will focus its efforts on A-series Kaveri APUs and lower-end chips based on Kabini and Beema. The high-end FX line will apparently have to subsist on existing 32-nm silicon, which seems to have hit a wall. The latest FX chips peak at 5GHz, but they're basically overclocked, and they have monstrous 220W power envelopes.

AMD's plans for Steamroller are limited on the server front, as well. Although the updated Steamroller cores will be available in a quad-core APU dubbed Berlin, that chip looks largely identical to Kaveri.

Despite recently securing $500 million in credit, AMD probably doesn't have the resources to be competitive on all fronts. Diverting attention from the "performance" segment of the desktop market should allow the company to put additional emphasis on mobile chips and APUs with integrated Radeon graphics. Doing so risks alienating the hard-core PC enthusiasts who have been its most loyal supporters, though.

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