AMD launches mobile Kaveri

AMD has launched its all-new mobile APU platform, codenamed Kaveri which could give Intel a good kicking in its mobile fourth-generation Core lineup.

It looks like AMD is so excited about what it is releasing it has slapped its enthusiast-oriented FX brand on the best of its new parts.

For those who came in late, Kaveri processors feature a heterogeneous architecture that allows the CPU and the GPU portions of the processor to access the computer’s entire memory space (up to 32GB).

Intel processors with integrated graphics must share system memory, with some exclusive to the CPU and the rest dedicated to the GPU. The Kaveri APU can address the computer’s entire memory space when and where it likes.

The most powerful mobile Kaveri—the FX-7600P with Radeon R7 Graphics—has 12 compute cores: 4 CPU and 8 GPU. It operates at a base frequency of 2.7GHz and is capable of jumping to 3.6GHz in AMD’s “Max Turbo” mode. The chip can address up to DDR3/2133 memory.

The A6 PRO-7050B with Radeon R4 Graphics, has five compute cores (2 CPU and 3 GPU). This chip operates at a base frequency of 2.2GHz and 3.0GHz in Max Turbo mode. It can address up to DDR3/1600 memory.

All up AMD announced nine mobile Kaveri processors across three performance categories with the PRO parts are aimed at commercial laptop builders.

The GPU supports Microsoft’s DirectX 11.2 gaming API and AMD’s own Mantle API. AMD claims that Mantle will deliver up to 219 percent of the performance of DirectX 11 with games running on its FX-7600P processor. Fully 47 percent of the mobile Kaveri’s die area is dedicated to GPU cores.

Nearly half of Kaveri’s die area is dedicated to graphics processors.

All this means that AMD can finally compete against some of Intel’s Core i7 processors. The company claims its FX-7500 chip (4 CPU cores and 6 GPU cores) delivers equivalent performance with productivity apps (as measured by PCMark 8 scores) and 50-percent better performance with graphics (based on 3DMark scores) when compared to Intel’s Core i7-4500U (dual CPU cores with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 graphics processor).

The only problem for AMD is that its mobile Kaveri processors use a 28nm manufacturing process, where Intel’s Haswell-class processors are manufactured using a more advanced 22nm process. Intel is also planning to move to 14nm process with Broadwell. Fortunately for AMD, the chip has been delayed and bought it some time.