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It’s easy to look around and see the amazing societal benefits from the explosion of computing over the last twenty years. For example, advancements in medical computing have decreased the time taken for DNA sequencing, allowing doctors to more quickly identify which drug would work best against certain types of cancers. Along with this explosion, the energy consumption and environmental footprint from computing has increased. This is a challenge that affects all of us, and the brains of the computer – the microprocessor – is an important part of the total equation.

 

In the past, processor designers could rely heavily on the mechanics of Moore’s Law to provide regular leaps in computing power and energy efficiency. But the steady improvements from better manufacturing processes and size shrinks predicted by Moore’s Law have slowed in recent years, largely because transistors are now so small they are running into fundamental limits of physics that drive costly processing. Moving forward, much of the new gains will likely come from innovative chip designs.

 

At AMD, energy efficiency has long been a key product design focus for our microprocessors, including our APUs, CPUs and GPUs. In June 2014 we announced our goal for a 25 times improvement in energy efficiency of our mobile APUs by 2020. That was, and is, a stretch goal considering that from 2009 to 2014 we achieved a 10 times improvement. We thought 10x was pretty good, but in 2014 we set our sights even higher.

 

At the two-year mark, I’m pleased to report we are on track toward achieving our 25x20 goal. And in the process our latest chips have dramatically improved in computing performance as well as energy efficiency¹.

 

These gains are no small achievement. In fact, our progress on energy efficiency was honored this week by Environmental Leader with a Project of The Year award. The judges viewed our 25x20 vision as “ambitious and audacious” and noted that the project has already demonstrated strong progress. Among the results, so far, is a 50 percent decrease in the carbon footprint of systems built around our 6th generation A-Series processors.

 

AMD continues to achieve these leaps in energy efficiency by focusing on numerous design enhancements, improved transistor density, and system level efficiency optimizations that result in power and performance improvements. These are detailed in our white paper, describing AMD’s commitment to energy efficiency. For example, our 6th generation A-Series processor introduced in 2015 was 2.4 times more energy efficient than its 2014 predecessor. And the recent introduction of our new 7th generation A-Series processor in 2016 – code named “Bristol Ridge” – adds an additional 14 percent improvement. Taken together, at the two-year mark, we are solidly above the trend line needed to achieve our goal of 25 times energy efficiency improvement by 2020².

 

In addition to our mobile APUs, we’re also making important strides in the energy efficiency of our GPU technology. With similar engineering advancements in architecture and power management, plus a boost from next generation process technology, AMD’s upcoming “Polaris” GPUs are on target to at least double the performance per watt over previous generations³.

 

We have more ground to cover to reach our 25x20 goal but we remain confident we are taking the right steps to meet this ambitious target. Look for additional reports on our progress and the energy efficient innovations coming up that will help get us to the goal line.

 

Mark Papermaster is CTO and SVP for Technology & Engineering at AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.  

 

 

 


1) Typical-use Energy Efficiency as defined by taking the ratio of compute capability as measured by common performance measures such as SpecIntRate, PassMark and PCMark, divided by typical energy use as defined by ETEC (Typical Energy Consumption for notebook computers) as specified in Energy Star Program Requirements Rev 6.0 10/2013. “Kaveri” relative compute capability (4.5) of baseline divided by relative energy efficiency (0.45) of baseline = 10X. "Carrizo” relative compute capability (6.0) of baseline divided by relative energy efficiency (0.22) of baseline = 27.4X (which is 2.7x that of “Kaveri”). “Bristol Ridge” relative compute capability (6.9) of baseline divided by relative energy efficiency (0.18) of baseline = 38.5X (which is 3.8x that of “Kaveri”).

2) Typical-use Energy Efficiency as defined by taking the ration of compute capability as measured by common performance measures such as SpecIntRate, PassMark and PCMark, divided by typical energy use as defined by ETEC (Typical Energy Consumption for notebook computers) as specified in Energy Star Program Requirements Rev 6.0 10/2013. “Kaveri” relative compute capability (4.5) of baseline divided by relative energy efficiency (0.45) of baseline = 10X. “Carrizo” relative compute capability (6.0) of baseline divided by relative energy efficiency (0.22) of baseline = 27.4X (which is 2.5x that of “Kaveri”), “Bristol Ridge” relative compute capability (6.9) of baseline divided by relative energy efficiency (0.18) of baseline = 38.3X (Which is 3.4x that of “Kaveri”).

3) Testing conducted by AMD internal labs as of Dec 15, 2015 with AMD’s previous “Hawaii” and “Bonaire” architecture based platforms and preliminary “Polaris” architecture based engineering sample. Systems tested with Intel i7-4770K with 8GB DDR3-1600 RAM, Driver 15.30 beta, Windows 10 64bit running a “Perlin Noise” benchmark measured in fps.  AMD’s "Hawaii" based platform averaged 377 fps at 1000 MHz while consuming 195.4 W, resulting in 1.9 frames per watt.  AMD’s "Bonaire" platform averaged 131.4 fps at 1015 MHz while consuming 71.6 W, resulting in 1.8 frames per watt. Preliminary engineering data showed AMD’s Polaris architecture based engineering sample as resulting in more than 2x the performance per watt as compared to “Hawaii” and “Bonaire” based platforms in this testing. POL-2

AMD's 7th Gen mobile APU lineup is equipped with advanced features, boosts immersive and productive performance and improves energy efficiency.

 

AMD is excited to unveil its full 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processor lineup today, designed to provide powerful productivity and entertainment performance with maximum mobility for consumers. Previously codenamed “Bristol Ridge” and “Stoney Ridge,” the 7th Generation AMD FX™, A-Series, and E-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) show major improvements in performance compared to the previous generation1 for experiences ranging from 4K video streaming, to eSports gaming, to productivity and videoconferencing.

 

The 7th Generation Processors allow consumers to take their gaming experience to the next level using a PC equipped with support for DirectX® 12 and features like AMD FreeSync™ and AMD Dual Graphics technologies. The new APUs also allows users to enjoy the latest multimedia experiences in up-to Ultra HD 4K video resolution, with AMD FreeSync™ Technology support for fluid, 1080p eSports-style gaming performance.

 

Notebooks powered by 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors allow users to work faster and play longer2, as up to four cores deliver powerful performance and superior energy efficiency for all day battery life3. AMD Advanced Power Management (APM) technology boosts performance to accomplish computing tasks with superior power efficiency for on-the-go capabilities, and consumers can rest easy knowing that 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors enable a premium Microsoft® Windows® 10 experience, and are primed to support the Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update, expected later this year.

 

Users will enjoy smooth multitasking, fast start-up times, and premium video streaming and playback features from the new processors, all with superb power efficiency. 7th Gen Processors also outperform the competition, with up to 53% higher graphics performance and up to 51% higher compute performance4 when the 7th Generation AMD FX processor is compared to Core i7.

 

7th Gen AMD A-Series processors feature mobile-optimized “Excavator” x86 CPU cores for high-speed computing, plus built-in Radeon™ graphics – with some models offering up to Radeon™ R7 graphics – for smooth eSports gaming and enhanced HD and UHD streaming capabilities. The “Bristol Ridge” lineup consists of 35- and 15-watt versions of AMD FX, A12, and A10 processors, while “Stoney Ridge” processors include 15-watt A9, A6 and E2 configurations.

 

With the new 7th Generation AMD A9, A6, and E2 processors, codenamed “Stoney Ridge,” AMD is meeting the needs of ‘everyday’ PC users by bringing high-performance “Excavator” cores and premium video playback processing to this segment, which represents 26% of all notebook PCs sold annually5. This enables consumers to get more done, manage more complex tasks, and enjoy more immersive video streaming and playback with improved graphics capabilities and image quality. In fact, the transition to “Excavator” cores delivers up to 50% faster CPU core performance over the previous generation6.

 

The new AMD A9 APU also performs well against the competition, providing up to 27% faster graphics performance than the Pentium-4405U7  and matching the Core i3-6100U with competitive graphics8  and system performance9, but with up to 1.2 GHz faster CPU speed10 .

 

Strong OEM partnerships play a vital role in delivering the best user experience, and 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors are now shipping in volume to OEM customers. As previously announced on April 5, 2016, AMD accelerated the availability of the new processors to support exciting new notebook designs, which allowed Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo to bring to market richly configured, high-performance systems powered by the 7th Generation AMD A-Series Processors. Look for the latest 7th Generation-powered OEM systems online and in-stores starting in June.

 

Supporting Resources

 

John Taylor is Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Marketing for AMD. His postings are his own opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

Additional Information:

1 Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. Dota 2 1366x768 @Maximum Detail average FPS; the 7th Generation AMD FX™ 9800P scored 31.03 FPS, while the 6th Generation AMD FX-8800P scored 22.7 for a benchmark score comparison of 31.03/22.7 = 1.37X or 37% more. ony Vegas Pro average time to render to .avi; the 7th Generation AMD FX™ 9800P took 86.03 seconds, while the 6th Generation AMD FX-8800P took 107.99 seconds for a comparison of 107.99/86.03 = 1.26X or 26% faster. Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. WinZip 18.5 average time to compress; the 7th Generation AMD FX™ 9800P took 47.03 seconds, while the 6th Generation AMD FX-8800P took 63.94 seconds for a comparison of 63.94/47.03 = 1.36X or 36% faster. BRN-40, BRN-41, BRN-42. System Configuration: 7th Gen AMD FX™ 9800P: AMD ‘Gardenia’ reference platform, 7th Gen AMD FX™ 9800P with AMD Radeon™ R7 Graphics, 2x4096 DDR3-1866 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 16.101.0.0 2016-01-31. AMD FX-8800P: HP ENVY m6 Notebook, FX-8800P with AMD Radeon™ R7 Graphics, 2x4096 DDR3-1600 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 15.300.1025.1001 2015-12-03

 

2 Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. PCMark® 8 v2 Home is used to simulate system performance; the AMD FX™ 9830P scored 3477.4, while the AMD A10-5750M scored 2520.75 for a benchmark score comparison of 3477.4/2520.75 = 1.38X or 38% (Work Faster). Local 1080p video playback using the FX-9800P utilized 4.263W average while the A10-5750M utilized 12.925W average (Play Longer). Work Faster Configs: AMD FX™ 9830P: AMD Bristol, AMD FX™ 9830P with AMD Radeon R7 Graphics, 2x4096 DDR4-2400 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise, Graphics driver 15.300.0.0 2015-11-09; A10-5750M: Hewlett-Packard HP ENVY TS 15 Notebook PC, A10-5750M with AMD Radeon HD 8650G, 2x4096 DDR3-1600 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 15.200.1055.0 2015-07-05

Play Longer Configs: 7th Gen AMD FX™ 9800P: AMD “Gardenia” platform, 2x4096 DDR4-1866 RAM, 256GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 16.100.0.0 2016-1-12. AMD A10-5750M: AMD “Pumori” platform, 2x2048 DDR3L-1600, 250 GB 5400RPM HDD, Windows 8 Pro 64-bit, Graphics Driver 9.10.0.0 2012-10-23. BRN-20

 

3 AMD defines All-Day Battery Life as 8+ hours of continuous use when measured with the Windows Idle test.

 

4 Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. 3DMark 11 Performance is used to simulate gaming performance; the 7th Generation AMD FX @ 15W scored 2424.5 while the Intel® Core i7-6500U scored 1585.75, for a benchmark score difference of 2424.25/1585.75 = 1.53X or 53%. 7th Gen AMD FX™ 9800P: AMD “Gardenia” platform, FX 9800P with AMD Radeon R7 Graphics, 2x4096 DDR4-1866 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 16.101.0.0 2016-01-31; i7-6500U: ASUS X555UA, i7-6500U with Intel(R) HD Graphics 520, 2x4096 DDR3-1600 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 20.19.15.4352 2015-12-14.  BRN-57

 

5 IDC Q2 2015 – Q1 2016 PC Market Analysis.

 

6 Testing by AMD Engineering and Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. Cinebench R11.5 1T is used to simulate CPU core performance; the 7th Generation AMD A9 scored .96 while the previous generation A8 scored .63 for a benchmark score difference of .96/.63 = 1.52x or 52%. 7th Generation A9: AMD Reference platform, Windows 10, 256 GB Crucial SSD - T256M550SSD1, 1x4GB DDR4-2133, Graphic Driver 16.10_BR296655 1/4/2016); AMD A8-7410: AMD Gardenia, AMD A8-7410 with AMD Radeon(TM) R5 Graphics, 1x4096 DDR3-1866 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro, Graphics driver 14.502.1002.1003 2015-01-31. SRN-15

 

7 Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. 3DMark® 11 Performance is used to simulate system performance; the AMD A9-9410 scored 1202.25, while the Intel Pentium 4405U scored 947.75 for a benchmark score comparison of 1202.25/947.75 = 1.27X or 27% faster. 7th Gen AMD A9-9410: AMD “Gardenia” platform, A9-9410 with AMD Radeon™ R5 Graphics, 1x4096 DDR4-2133 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 16.100.0.0 2016-01-24; 4405U: HP ProBook 450 G3, 4405U with Intel(R) HD Graphics 510, 2x4096 DDR3-1600 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 20.19.15.4390 2016-02-17. SRN-51

 

8 Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. 3DMark® 11 Performance is used to simulate system performance; the AMD A9-9410 scored 1202.25, while the Intel i3-6100U in single channel RAM configuration scored 1230.75 for a benchmark score comparison of 1202.25/1230.75 = .98X or 98%. 7th Gen AMD A9-9410: AMD “Gardenia” platform, A9-9410 with AMD Radeon™ R5 Graphics, 1x4096 DDR4-2133 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 16.100.0.0 2016-01-24; i3-6100U: HP Pavilion x360 Convertible, i3-6100U with Intel(R) HD Graphics 520, 1x4096 -1600 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise, Graphics driver 20.19.15.4300 2015-09-30. SRN-50

 

9 Testing by AMD Performance labs. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. PCMark® 8 v2 Home is used to simulate system performance; the AMD A9-9410 scored 2668.25, while the Intel i3-6100U in single channel RAM configuration scored 2807 for a benchmark score comparison of 2668.25/2807 = .95X or 95%. 7th Gen AMD A9-9410: AMD “Gardenia” platform, A9-9410 with AMD Radeon™ R5 Graphics, 1x4096 DDR4-2133 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, Graphics driver 16.100.0.0 2016-01-24; i3-6100U: HP Pavilion x360 Convertible, i3-6100U with Intel(R) HD Graphics 520, 1x4096 -1600 RAM, 244GB SSD Drive (Non-rotating), Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise, Graphics driver 20.19.15.4300 2015-09-30. SRN-55

 

10 The 7th Generation AMD A9-9410 has a base CPU of 2.9 and a max CPU frequency of 3.5 GHz, while the Intel Core i3-6100U only has a base frequency of 2.3 GHz http://ark.intel.com/products/88180/Intel-Core-i3-6100U-Processor-3M-Cache-2_30-GHz?q=i3-6100u