If you’ve been around AMD chips for a while, you’ll probably need to fold a pin back into place once or twice. Or at least the clumsy ones among us (including myself). It’s too easy with a pin grid array (PGA) design. All of this could change with the next socket change for the red team, however, as the latest leaks suggest a ground matrix (LGA) design with AM5.
According to a tweet from Executable correction, known leaker, AMD will finally move away from PGA to LGA with the change to AM5, the new socket that will replace AM4. They say the new plinth design will be LGA-1718, the number that represents the number of pins needed for the package.
AM5 😏- LGA-1718- dual channel DDR5 chipset- PCI-e 4.0- 600 seriesMay 22, 2021
They also point out that the next generation of AMD chips will support DDR5 and PCIe 4.0 with a 600 series chipset.
For now, let’s focus on the plinth. When we talk about PGA, we often talk about processors with pins that protrude from the bottom of a chip that is on a motherboard with a compatible socket. An LGA design will see a flat array of connection points to the processor, which aligns with the pins on the motherboard socket.
In any case, very flexible, if not breakable, pines are obtained. But in my opinion, it is much easier to bend these pins to the CPU.
While the switch to LGA may seem a bit trivial, the change will mark a major shock to AMD’s line of desktops. AMD has long been sticking with a pin grid array (PGA) for its CPU packaging. You could go back to the original Athlon processors and find a chip package that wasn't that different from the current 16 cores. Ryzen 9 5950X.
AMD is no stranger to LGA, however, as Epyc’s SP3 socket and Threadripper’s TR4 and sTRX4 sockets are LGA 4094 designs. Intel also uses LGA for most of its desktop and server chips.
The other popular alternative is the ball grid array (BGA), which is widely used today, mainly on mobile devices. The reason we haven't seen it much on the desktop is because BGA designs really see the chip permanently welded to the socket.
AMD had previously promised to continue supporting the AM4 socket until 2020, and has since stuck to its Ryzen chips with Zen 3 technology on the desktop. While the future of AMD’s Ryzen versions remains a bit nebulous, the company’s next major architectural version, probably Zen 4, is likely to arrive with the new AM5 socket.
Reverse compatibility between even AM4-compatible chips is anything but a safe bet, but the switch to AM5 will rule out any future Zen 4 upgrades for 500-series motherboards.
With AMD’s trajectory, however, the AM5 is likely to exist for a while before it is replaced by something even brighter. AM4 has been in existence since 2016.