This post was authored by Bernd Leinhard, CVP and GM at AMD
AMD’s innovative Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) have brought high-performance compute and stunning graphics performance to laptops for years. Today AMD launches its 2014 Low-Power and Mainstream mobile APUs that continue to showcase AMD’s commitment to drive power-efficient computing in the mobile market.
The 2014 system-on-chips (SoCs) follow on from the immensely successful APUs launched last year, but with up to twice the compute performance-per-watt than the competition1 – a pretty impressive leap up. With dual or quad x86 core options, combined with on-chip Radeon™ graphics based on the award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, the 2014 Low-Power and Mainstream products provide an exceptional blend of compute performance and graphics capabilities. The new families also deliver outstanding energy-efficient performance, meeting the users’ desires for sleeker, lighter laptops, 2-in-1 devices and fanless tablets.
The 2014 Mainstream APUs, codenamed “Beema,” have been designed from the ground up to power the next generation of ultrathin laptops. With that in mind, our design teams focused on maximizing performance-per-watt, a key performance metric in mobile computing. AMD’s engineers worked hard and worked smart to deliver maximum clock speeds of 2.4 GHz on the AMD A6-6310 APU at 40% lower TDP than its predecessor2 3. For the user, this means that “Beema” APUs enables thinner laptops with outstanding performance and superior battery life.
The Low-Power family of multicore x86 APUs are a natural choice for fanless form factors is also launching today. “Mullins” APUs are system-on-chips with two or four x86 cores and also incorporate Radeon graphics based on the GCN architecture, with power usage as low as 3.95W and using less in everyday use cases4. The Low-Power family of APUs showcase AMD’s technical leadership in low-power x86 and GPU integration and brings new levels of performance to the form factors that you want, such as 2-in-1s and tablets.
Why does performance-per-watt matter? In mobile devices, offering the best possible performance is only half the story because without battery power, the user cannot finish watching a movie, playing the latest DirectX™ 11 game or work on that presentation while on the plane.
AMD's latest APUs include a security co-processor supporting ARM TrustZone™ technology, providing security built right into the hardware. TrustZone is an industry standard supported by many hardware and software companies, making it a great technology to help secure the user against security threats of today and tomorrow.
AMD has also always given the user features and choices. Our APUs have always featured mind-blowing graphics enabling users to play the latest games at breathtaking frame rates, but they also support the OpenCL™ programming language. OpenCL allows programmers to make use of the on-board Radeon™ cores to help speed up programs, provide features such as AMD Gesture Control, and provide amazing system responsiveness in computation of heavy applications – effectively turbo-charging the APU to give users a better experience.
The power inside of AMD’s 2014 mobile APUs helps AMD and outside developers enrich the user experience with natural interaction, enhancing media playback and mobility features. With technologies such as AMD QuickStream technology, AMD Perfect Picture and AMD Wireless Display available, users get the best possible visual experience with an AMD APU. AMD has worked with big names in the software industry to bring other innovative APU-powered features such as AMD Face Login with voice activation and AMD Gesture Control on the AMD A6 APUs.
The first 2014 mobile APUs represent the cutting edge in chip design, combining dual and quad-core x86 processors with Radeon HD graphics. Significant under-the-hood improvements in key areas such as power management and incorporating ARM TrustZone technology highlights the commitment AMD has to bringing high-performance, energy-efficient APUs to the most popular segments of the market.
And we aren’t done talking mobile APUs for 2014 yet. The high-performance, award-winning “Kaveri” architecture is coming to laptops later in the first half, so watch this space!
Bernd Lienhard is a Corporate Vice President and General Manager 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.
1. For “Beema” Mainstream APU. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs on optimized AMD reference systems. PC manufacturers may vary configuration yielding different results. Basemark CL is used to simulate compute performance; 15W TDP AMD A4-6210 APU scored 21 while the 7.5W TDP Pentium N3510 platform scored 5. AMD "Larne" reference platform system using AMD A4-6210 APU with AMD Radeon™ R3 Graphics, 2x1024 MBytes of DDR3-1600 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language, and 13.300.0.0 - 13-Jan-2014 driver. Intel Pentium CPU N3510 @ 1.99GHz with Intel HD Graphics, 2x2048 MBytes of DDR3-1333 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language, 10.18.10.3366 - 25-Nov-2013 driver. BMN-25
For Mullins Essential: Architectural improvements in the 2.8W SDP AMD A10 Micro-6700T APU are calculated to deliver 178 GFLOPs compared to the 2W SDP “Bay Trail T” platform which achieves 100 GFLOPS. Theoretical Maximum GFLOPS score is calculated using standard formula of (CPU Cores x freq x 8 FLOPS) + (GPU Cores x freq x 2 FLOPS). Scores rounded to the nearest whole number. AMD "Discovery" reference platform system using AMD A10 Micro-6700T APU with Radeon™ R6 Graphics, 2048 MBytes of DDR3-1333 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language, 13.302.1301.0 - 03-Mar-2014 driver. 2W SDP, Intel “Bay Trail T” Atom CPU Z3770 @ 1.46GHz with Intel® HD Graphics, 2x1024 MBytes of DDR3-1066 RAM, 1920x1200x32, 10.18.10.3348 - 30-Oct-2013 driver. MUN-16
2. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs on optimized AMD reference systems. PC manufacturers may vary configuration yielding different results. 3DMark 11 is used to simulate graphics performance; the AMD A6-6310 APU scored 778 while the AMD A6-5200 APU scored 699. AMD "Larne" reference platform system using AMD A6-6310 15W APU with AMD Radeon™ R4 Graphics, 2x2048 MBytes of DDR3-1600 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language, and 13.300.0.0 - 13-Jan-2014 driver. AMD A6-5200 25W APU with Radeon™ 8400 Graphics, 2x2048 MBytes of DDR3-1600 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language, 13.350.1005.0 - 22-Feb-2014 driver. BMN-9
3. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs on optimized AMD reference systems. PC manufacturers may vary configuration yielding different results. PCMark 8 - Home v2 is used to simulate productivity performance; AMD A6-6310 APU scored 1923 while the AMD A6-5200 APU scored 2004. BMN-10 AMD "Larne" reference platform system using AMD A6-6310 15W APU with AMD Radeon(tm) R4 Graphics, 2x2048 MBytes of DDR3-1600 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language, and 13.300.0.0 - 13-Jan-2014 driver. AMD A6-5200 25W APU with Radeon(tm) 8400 Graphics, 2x2048 MBytes of DDR3-1600 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Single Language, 13.350.1005.0 - 22-Feb-2014 driver. BMN-10
4. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs on optimized AMD reference systems. PC manufacturers may vary configuration yielding different results. AMD A6-6310 APU will draw 0.62W power when running an eReader compared to AMD A6-5200 0.81W APU draw on the same workload. Video file for power testing of video playback: Video file: Big Buck Bunny; H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10; 9783 Kbps; 1920x1080@24 fps. AMD "Larne" reference platform system representing AMD A6-6310 15W APU with AMD Radeon™ R4 Graphics, 1x4096 MBytes of DDR3L-1600 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8.1, and 13.302.1401 driver. AMD A6-5200 25W APU with Radeon™ 8400 Graphics, 2x2048 MBytes of DDR3L-1600 RAM, Microsoft Windows 8, 220.127.116.11 driver. BMN-21