6th Generation APUs To Deliver Superior Computing Performance For Consumer And Business Applications

by Mark Papermaster - Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, AMD

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. is an American worldwide semiconductor company based in Sunnyvale, California, United States, that develops computer processors and related technologies for business and consumer markets.

Over the past few decades, a number of terms have been streaming around to describe computer hardware. Some of these words include APU, CPU and GPU. The CPU has been the heart of every computer since Intel’s x86 processor came into existence two decades ago, despite this, there was a lack of competence. The greatest inefficacy is the relatively linear execution of data which is carried out in CPU. Graphic Processors on the other hand are a collection of small cores assembled together to execute data simultaneously. This makes the GPU competent to perform multifarious tasks like video decoding and 3D Graphics. Understanding the importance and strength of CPU and GPU as processing units APU was developed which holds the combined elements of both the processing units assembled on a single chip. AMD’s 6th generation APU truly commissioned with software and hardware specifications to enable new capabilities as a CPU with GPU.

Accelerating Innovative Graphic Computing

Across the landscape of technology the evolution of graphics technology has occurred at a rapid pace. There has been an aggressive architectural advancement in the configuration of computer graphics and the installment rates of GPUs over the past few years. If you are into software development or optimizing graphic programs, you might need a GPU with advance memory techniques, high performance and encrypted data security. For an efficient graphic processor we are supplementing the same with advanced enhancements, improved memory techniques and assembled graphic processors with strong memory which would enable easier programming. This is where you need a strategy, a strategy to leverage the advantages. We at AMD are developing the cores and we are developing the software support to go along with it. So it’s about performance, it’s about making it easy to program and then continuing to drive every year higher and higher performance with lesser and lesser energy usage. That’s what we are doing and that’s what the demand is.

Incorporating the APU with CPU and Graphics

Technology is embedded in virtually every aspect of our life, from our homes to financial institutions, industrial factories, communications infrastructures, retail stores and others, and soon it will be smarter and more spontaneous than ever. The next generation of embedded Accelerated Processing Units (APU) in alliance with Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) will enable a world of interactive and immersive embedded devices. Aggregation of CPU, GPU and other processing elements through HSA creates compute cores competent enough to deliver incredible visual computing features and efficient energy all in right amount. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) usage along with hardware accelerators enables the chips to give ultra high resolution streaming performance facilitating the consumers to have best streaming notebook experience in the industry.

Transforming Technology with AMD

We live in a highly interconnected world. And with almost 50 billion devices coming over in the next five years, it needs a massive amount of information that has to be processed locally with devices like PCs, high end tablets, set top box, game consoles will coming with more than just games. So you have stronger devices to allow you to interact with all of that in a much more lucrative way, but then of course you need to process all this data. And this is the main area of focus, empowering consumers to manage data on device or on the cloud. We have been working on this with open standards to create new, high-bandwidth memory where we have very low energy connections and offer high performance and require less power. And we developed connections not by driving manually from one chip to another chip but all over silicon. That’s the innovation we have tailored to use 3D packaging, to connect all over silicon of the memory through silicon and back to the GPU, so what it means is less power and reduced port size.

Our prevalent by-product Carrizo APU packing, additionally supported with x86 Excavator cores and several GCN streaming processors will help leverage the performance to greater levels. The sixth generation APU is featured with software and hardware which will truly enable the new capabilities as CPU with a stronger GPU, delivering 40 percent faster graphic performance than the other APUs in the market; still less than thirty percent small and yet more power efficient. The inclusion of HEVC hardware solutions with Carrizo for notebooks has allowed us to bring across a new compression standard for 4K/1080P streaming and video conferencing, enabling high resolution streaming, four times the capacity of the previous standard for streaming. Keeping up with the demand of energy efficient devices, the energy efficiency side of Carrizo is twice better as compared to the life of previous generations. The 6th generation Carrizo APUs will be branded as AMD FX, AMD A10 and AMD A8 series chips which will surely leverage the graphics readers worldwide. Going ahead, AMD will focus extensively on gaming, immersive platform and data centers. (As told to Deepshikha Singh)