Top-tier motherboard manufacturer, ASUS has released to market the first two products to support upcoming Kaveri APUs from AMD, confirming new features in the process. The new motherboards are poetically named A55BM-A/USB3 and A88XM-A and are based on AMD current A55 chipset and new A88X chipset, respectively. Both boards have the same overall layout with one PCI-E x16, one PCI-E x1 and one PCI slot. They both feature a couple USB 3.0 ports on the back panel; the A88X chipset does it natively, while the A55BM-A/USB3 must rely on a third party controller to do so. They both fit the micro ATX size for installation in smaller size cases.
Overall, these new products probably wouldn’t make the headlines if it wasn’t for the new features they confirm. For starters, the new FM2+ socket is designed to support the upcoming Kaveri APUs with all of its features, but it is also said to support current Trinity and Richland parts in FM2 format. This makes for an easy upgrade path, as AMD users have gotten used to in the past with smooth transition from sockets and processors. Furthermore, the new Kaveri APUs will support PCI-E 3.0 graphics interface and as such, the new boards have PCI-E 3.0/2.0 compliant slots.
Consumers wanting to build a Richland-based system will now have the option of doing so using a FM2+ motherboard for easy upgrade to Kaveri in the future. The new APUs from AMD are said to bring a number of technology and performance improvements over current generation products such as new Steamroller CPU cores, Graphics Core Next GPU architecture and 28nm manufacturing process. AMD has said Kaveri is on track for appearance in the market by late 2013.