AMD releases Bald Eagle

AMD has released its next generation Bald Eagle R-Series APUs, which it hopes to capture a bigger chunk of the gambling, medical, signage and low-power markets.

Bald Eagle is the first embedded processor to incorporate features from the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) in its design. This is supposed to merge the compute performance provided by the central-processing and graphics-processing portions of the chip.

Bald Eagle is targeted at embedded markets where traditional chips lack the power to do the job, this is areas like medical imaging, gambling machine and digital signage markets. This rely on graphics performance and a strong CPU but do not need processors that draw lots of power.

The first Bald Eagle R-Series chips has support for Windows, Linux, and various Real Time Operating Systems (RTOSes) on hardware boasting Steamroller cores running between 2.2GHz and 3.6GHz and Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU hardware running between 533MHz and 686MHz depending on model.

This will make the R-Series the better performers in AMD’s embedded range. If AMD’s testing is right, and we are not saying it is, the top-end AMD RX-427BB chip scored 2051 on the 3DMark 11 benchmark suite to Intel’s Haswell-based Core i7-4765T’s 1424. This would mean a 44 per cent increase in graphics performance for the same 35W thermal design profile (TDP). A similar 46 per cent improvement was noted between the two processors in the BasemarkCL benchmark.

AMD has pledged a 10-year support lifetime although the fine-print of the company’s announcement, warns that the planned product availability is ‘subject to change without notice’ but that firm guarantees will be available for those paying for a support contract.

So far, we have not been told a price for any of the Bald Eagle family.