Sticking with AM3+ socket
If all goes well and AMD doesn’t hit any delays, the Bulldozer successor codenamed Vishera could launch in Q3 2012. This is the timeframe that AMD is disclosing to its partners and let’s hopes that it can stick with this schedule.
One of the possible issues is that engineering samples are planned only for Q2 2012 and usually AMD provides them to platform manufactures at least two quarters before the planned launch. This can mean that AMD is launching Piledriver cores and Vishera in very late Q3 2012 which kind of makes sense.
Despite the fact that AMD already told its partners that Vishera powered Volan platform is coming in 2012, many are preparing to launch of Bulldozer desktop successors in early 2013. They learned the lesson with Bulldozer that was delayed for many quarters; let’s not say years. It is better be skeptical than sorry.
Volan uses the same AM3+ socket and will use well know AMD 990FX northbridge and SB950 southbridge, the same chipset that you see today with Bulldozer FX processors.
Of course Vishera CPU is competing against Ivy Bridge CPUs and alternatively Ivy Bridge E high end parts, both 22nm. Ivy Bridge quad and dual parts will launch in early Q2 2012, most likely April / May while Ivy Bridge E, 22nm quad and hexa-cores should launch in late Q3 or early Q4 2012 and put a lot of pressure on Volan platform.
Still AMD will have the price advantage and will in any case end up significantly cheaper compared to Intel’s solution in the same high end – enthusiast desktop market segment. It always had the advantage and it always will.