According to a recent article published by Digitimes, motherboard makers may be facing increased costs due to an issue in AMD’s upcoming motherboard chipset. Citing industry sources, Digitimes claims that the issue stems from a design flaw in the ASMedia USB 3.1 chip included in the chipset, which causes “…USB 3.1 transmission speeds drop dramatically as circuit distance increases”. As such, board makers are forced to add additional retimer, redriver, or additional USB 3.1 chips in order to make USB 3.1 function properly on the upcoming motherboards. ASMedia has denied such allegations citing that their “…product’s signal, stability and compatibility have all passed certification.”
If these rumors hold true however, this may be bad news for AMD. While redrivers and retimers are relatively low cost in the grand scheme of a whole motherboard, with the thin margins most board manufacturers currently operate on, this may cause higher than anticipated prices for AMD motherboards when Zen launches sometime before 1Q2017.