AMD debuted Raven Ridge, a new set of Ryzen CPUs with onboard Radeon Vega graphics.
Yes, we've spelled that out--Ryzen CPUs with Vega graphics--when "APU" (Accelerated Processing Units) would seemingly do just fine. AMD has used the term for many years to refer to its CPUs that have integrated graphics, but with the launch of Raven Ridge, the company has shied away from it. When pressed, AMD has given us somewhat mixed messages about whether or not to use "APU" any longer. The company is not using "APU" internally when referring to Raven Ridge chips, preferring, we guess, to spell it out upon every mention, but it still refers to older APUs as "APUs." We've been told that we can use "APU" to describe Raven Ridge chips if we want--that is, the term is not inaccurate--but for branding purposes, it seems that AMD wants to hammer home the point that Raven Ridge is composed of Zen CPU cores and Radeon Vega graphics.
So then I gather from "it seems that AMD wants to hammer home the point that Raven Ridge is composed of Zen CPU cores and Radeon Vega graphics." that it is by every definition an "APU" ! So if I call a Duck an Eagle is it then an Eagle or a Duck?
An APU is simply a processor that combines CPU and GPU elements into a single architecture. The first APU products being shipped by AMD and Intel do this without much fuss by adding graphics processing cores into the processor architecture and letting them share a cache with the CPU. While both AMD and Intel are using their own GPU architectures in their new processors, the basic concepts and reasons behind the decision to bring a GPU into the architecture remain the same.