The days of Socket AM3 reigning supreme in the AMD world could come to an end next year. Fudzilla reports that Llano, AMD's upcoming 32-nm processor with a graphics core built in, will fit in a new kind of socket called Socket FM1.
That's more or less all of the detail the site goes into, so you'll have to use your imagination to picture the new socket. (Maybe AMD will finally switch to a land-grid-array design like with the Opteron family.) However, Fudzilla does give us some dirt about the matching AMD chipsets: word is that some of them will have built-in USB 3.0, although the rest will pair USB 2.0 with 6Gbps Serial ATA, just like the existing 800 series of chipsets.
Last we heard, Llano had begun sampling and would enter volume production in the latter half of the year. We know Llano will have four cores based on the same architecture as today's Phenom IIs, a graphics processor built into the same piece of silicon, and power consumption low enough to allow for notebook-bound variants in addition to the desktop parts.
I think AMD did a nice job giving folks an upgrade path from Socket AM2 to AM3, since quad-core AM3 processors support both DDR2 and DDR3 RAM and work in AM2 motherboards. Over the same stretch of time, Intel went from LGA775 to LGA1156 and LGA1366, none of which are compatible with each other. I was even told at Computex that, next year, Sandy Bridge will bring about a new, non-backward-compatible LGA1155 socket type. Surely AMD has earned a "switch desktop sockets free" card at this point.