This post has been authored by Kevin Tanguay who is a Director of Embedded Gaming Products at AMD
AMD’s second generation embedded R-series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) formerly codenamed “Bald Eagle” has landed! The second generation embedded R-series APU combines AMD’s expertise in designing high performance, multi-core x86 CPU architectures and multipurpose programmable GPUs into a single chip that supports four independent displays and Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), making it a great choice for casino and arcade gaming.
AMD’s APUs have already proven themselves in the embedded market, with the first-generation AMD R-series raising the bar for levels of processing power, visualization and power efficiency. The second generation embedded R-series APU builds on the success of the first generation R-series APUs by making use of AMD’s Steamroller CPU architecture, powering up to four x86 CPU cores. Coupled with the latest CPU architecture is AMD’s award-winning AMD Radeon™ HD 9000-series GPU architecture that supports Microsoft DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL all within a 35 W power envelope.
The second generation embedded R-series APU brings together the latest AMD CPU and GPU architectures to create a phenomenal APU for the embedded market. AMD’s second generation embedded R-series APU is the first embedded processor to support HSA. This allows applications to seamlessly make use of the CPU and GPU through Heterogeneous Queuing and access the same memory through Heterogeneous Unified Memory Architecture.
AMD’s R-series APUs have always supported GPU compute but with has support, the developer now has even more tools at their disposal to access the phenomenal compute found in the Radeon HD 9000-series GPU in every second generation embedded R-series APU. HSA features enable higher resolution video playback and increased number of video streams, meaning that in a casino the gamer can see more videos at a higher quality, improving their experience.
Complementing the revolutionary CPU and GPU architectures and HSA support, our engineers have also added features such as DDR3-2133 and ECC memory support, along with PCI Express Gen 2 and Gen 3 support. What does all this mean? The increase in memory bandwidth and support for higher bandwidth to peripherals means the R-series APU not only can access more data, but can also support a second GPU through AMD Radeon™ Dual Graphics technology. A second GPU can turbocharge graphics performance or provide output for even more displays.
AMD’s embedded R-series APUs have been the ultimate solution when it comes to driving multiple displays with eye-popping graphics, and our second generation embedded R-series APUs continue this rich tradition. The second generation R-series APUs support up to four independent displays, driven through today’s most common standards including HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, UVD 4.2 and VCE 2.0.
AMD has been working closely with RAD Game Tools making RAD’s popular industry standard Bink 2 video codec work flawlessly on AMD R-series APUs. Bink 2 can be found in most popular games and the latest generation game consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, which also feature AMD processors. RAD’s Bink 2 codec is also popular in the casino gaming industry, where the need for high-quality video is essential to meet users’ expectations for a quality gaming experience. AMD’s close relationship with RAD Game Tools has resulted in Bink 2 becoming the first version of the software video decoder to utilize the GPU for computation and makes the R-series APU a superior processor to play back content encoded with Bink 2.
RAD Games is now shipping Bink 2.4 with optional GPU decoding. This version of Bink offloads the video decoding using compute shaders on Windows, Linux, Sony’s PlayStation4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. This approach results in two to four times faster decoding than using CPU-only decode (and even more for 4K video).1 For example, 4K video frames can be decoded in 2.3 ms on Sony’s PlayStation4 or Microsoft’s Xbox One , and 1.4 ms on a PC!
The second generation embedded R-series APUs support Microsoft Windows and Linux, with Microsoft DirectX™ 11.1 and OpenGL 4.3 supported. Naturally, AMD’s R-series APUs support OpenCL, giving developers access to computation power held within the Radeon HD 9000-series GPU. This means whether your applications run on Windows or Linux, you can make use of AMD’s R-series APUs.
The second generation embedded R-series APU showcase AMD’s commitment to the gaming industry, with a high-performance embedded APU that includes the latest technology combined with strict industry certification. With dual-core and quad-core R-series “Bald Eagle” APUs available in 17 W and 35 W power envelopes, AMD’s latest generation of x86 R-series APUs provide high-performance and power-efficient processing power to drive multidisplay installations, making them ideal for casino and arcade gaming machines.
Kevin Tanguay is Director of Embedded Gaming Products at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.