Tag: APU

AMD opens Nasdaq at Financial Day ‘15

AMD Analyst Day '15_2
NEW YORK, NY – AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, outlined a multi-year strategy designed to return the company to profitability and growth at today’s AMD 2015 Financial Analyst Day at the Nasdaq MarketSite studio in New York City.

The embattled company is a little over seven months into Su’s leadership role and is attempting what can only be called a “breakout” from the constraints of being locked into the number two position in the deflating PC market segment.

IP and Core Technology Updates
AMD showcased a number of new items at the event, including details on its next-generation 64-bit x86 and ARM processor cores, future graphics cores expected to deliver a 2x performance-per-watt improvement compared to current generation offerings, and modular design methodology that reduces system-on-chip (SoC) development costs and accelerates time to market.

Technology-related announcements include:
• Development of a brand new x86 processor core codenamed “Zen,” expected to drive AMD’s re-entry into high-performance desktop and server markets through improved instructions per clock of up to 40 percent, compared to AMD’s current x86 processor core. “Zen” will also feature simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) for higher throughput and a new cache subsystem.
• Updates on the company’s first custom 64-bit ARM core the “K12”. These enterprise-class 64-bit ARM cores are designed for efficiency and are ideally suited for server and embedded workloads.
• AMD’s plans to extend its graphics technology to the first high-performance graphics processing unit (GPU) featuring die stacked High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) using a 2.5D silicon interposer design. AMD plans to introduce this packaging in the second half of the year with its latest GPU.

Computing and Graphics Segment Updates
Additionally, AMD announced updates to its Computing and Graphics (CG) product roadmaps for accelerated processing unit (APU), central processing unit (CPU), and GPU products planned for introduction in 2016 and beyond. The upcoming products address key customer priorities, including increased performance, longer battery life, and improved energy efficiency. AMD also provided further details and publicly demonstrated its 6th Generation A-Series APU, formerly codenamed “Carrizo,” as well as its next-generation GPU offerings launching in the coming months.

AMD’s updated CG product roadmap includes:
• New AMD FX CPUs based on the “Zen” core and built using FinFET process technology. Featuring high core counts with SMT for high throughput and DDR4 compatibility, these CPUs will share the AM4 socket infrastructure with AMD’s 2016 Desktop APUs.
• 7th Generation AMD APUs will enable a discrete-level GPU gaming experience and full HSA performance in the FP4 Ultrathin Mobile Infrastructure.
• Future generations of high-performance GPUs will be based on FinFET process technology, which will contribute to a doubling of performance-per-watt. These cutting-edge discrete graphics will include second generation HBM technology.

Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom Segment Updates
AMD laid out a long-term strategy for its Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom Business Group (EESC) to grow across a number of high-priority markets based on leveraging high-performance CPU and GPU cores that allow customers to build differentiated solutions. The near-term will bring continued focus on enabling scalable, semi-custom solutions and growth in the embedded pipeline. Looking ahead, next-generation “Zen” and “K12” cores will bring high performance to the datacenter, a space where AMD plans to regain share with a portfolio that includes x86 and ARM processors, increased power efficiency, and a renewed presence in the high-performance x86 server market.

“AMD’s high-performance IP, efficient modular design methodology, and evolved semi-custom business model will fuel strong growth opportunities across multiple markets,” said Forrest Norrod (a recent AMD hire formerly general manager of Dell’s Data Center Solutions), senior vice president and general manager, EESC. “In addition to driving sustained growth in our semi-custom and embedded businesses, we’re reaffirming our commitment to high-performance server computing based on our strong set of new product offerings.”

AMD’s EESC roadmap details include:
• Next-generation AMD Opteron™ processors, based on the “Zen” core targeting mainstream servers that will enable a broad spectrum of workloads with significant increases in I/O and memory capacity.
• Building off of the expected availability of “Seattle”-based systems later this year, AMD detailed plans for its next-generation ARM processors featuring the upcoming “K12” core.
• AMD also provided a glimpse into its new high-performance APU targeting HPC and workstation markets that is intended to deliver massive improvements to vector applications with scale-up graphics performance, HSA enablement, and optimized memory architecture.

Techeye Takeaway
AMD under Lisa Su is just now beginning to find its footing. The company is in dire need of an all-around “morale lift” to gain traction – this includes customers, employees and investors alike. In many respects the company committed the same mistake as did Intel in refusing to acknowledge the full impact their absence from mobile market would have on their future earnings. They are still in recovery mode from that mistake.

Another troubling factor is their misjudgment of the amount of time required to successfully penetrate the x86 dominated server segment with their 64-bit ARM based “Seattle” processors and ambidextrous plan. In fact, a fair number of those in the analyst community completely misjudged this call. Time has now nearly corrected this error – with the introduction of the “Zen” series AMD is once again preparing to reenter the x 86 server market as a player.

The company announced the use of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) with their GPUs and plans product shipments in the second half of this year placing AMD 6 months ahead of Nvidia.

AMD was a lead proponent of the HBM JEDEC standard. Sources indicate AMD will be using HBM memories in a wide range of future CPU, APU and GPU product designs – dramatically increasing performance while keeping a lid on power.

AMD appears to be betting on the PC market from an advanced performance viewpoint, addressing the ever increasing demands of virtual reality, 4K screens and real-time gaming – something the power user community can appreciate. The company’s segue back into the low-end and mid-range server market with the aptly named “Zen” cores – something that has been obvious to their Asian customer base for an eternity.

Will AMD execute this time around?…,

AMD targets hybrids with latest APU launch

Fabless chip company AMD has announced the latest in its 2013 Elite Mobility processors, the quad-core A4 1350 accelerated processor, which is the second quad core APU of the lot.

It’s got an average power at or below 3 watts for common use cases, according to AMD, as well as up to 172 percent more CPU performance per watt and 212 percent better graphics performance per watt compared to earlier generations.

The company boasts it sports up to 12 hours of resting battery life, and brags it beats “the competition” by nearly five times more GPU performance, referring to tests against Intel systems.

It ships with AMD Radeon Graphics and DirectX 11.1 support, plus AMD Dock Port for up to four external monitors on one connection, as well as the company’s Start Now technology which promises to boot up or resume from hibernation in seconds. 

The APU should ship this October in small screen touch notebooks, tablets, and 13 inch and under hybrid devices.

Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president, AMD client business unit, said: “With quad-core performance, Radeon HD graphics and long battery life, the A4-1350 is ideal for new form factors like hybrid and convertible PCs.” 

AMD has no plans for smartphone chips

Although there was much speculation about AMD’s upcoming heterogeneous ARM server chips, and its frugal Jaguar core, it seems the company won’t be entering the consumer application processor space after all.

AMD senior VP and general manager of global business units told Gulf News that the company is not focused on smartphones and has no plans to enter the smartphone market.

However, AMD still thinks mobile devices like tablets and hybrids are important, but they use slightly bigger chips, namely Temash SoCs.

“We will continue to look for key opportunities. The traditional PC market is really changing as we see a lot of new form factors. The PC business is our key but we will look for opportunities that will help us grow,” Su said.

Su stressed that gaming is a major focus for AMD so the company wants to slug it out in the CPU and GPU markets instead. She added that gaming is one space where AMD can differentiate from the competition.

Su also added that the company’s APU strategy is working. Over the past couple of weeks AMD announced new Richland, Kabini and Temash products and it got strong feedback from customers.

AMD’s custom chips based on the new Jaguar core are also at the heart of new PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Su expects that custom chips will account for about 20 percent of AMD’s business by the end of the year. 

AMD reveals server strategy and roadmap

AMD has revealed its latest server roadmap and it has a cunning plan to recapture market share in data centre servers and micro servers, with the help of some interesting acronyms. 

Grunge loving Seattle is AMD’s first ARM based server chip and it will show up in mid-2014. It is based on ARM’s new 64-bit Cortex A-57 core and it will launch as an eight-core, clocked at 2GHz or higher. It will be joined by a 16-core version later on. AMD says the chip will “set the bar” in power efficiency and it will be the industry’s “premier ARM server CPU”.

However, before AMD introduces its first ARM part, it will have a bit of fun with x86 cores. Berlin is a Steamroller based server part with top notch power efficiency. It is AMD’s first server part to be built on the Heterogenous System Architecture (HSA) and it is pretty much a server version of Kaveri. Some versions will feature CGN GPUs, too. AMD says the chip will deliver double the performance of Kyoto. Berlin will ship in the first half of 2014.

Warsaw is apparently based on the venerable Piledriver core. It is AMD’s next generation 2P/4P offering and it will feature the same socket as the Opteron 6300 series, making cheap upgrades possible. It will be available in 12-core and 16-core versions and it is slated to ship in Q1 2014.

AMD also used the opportunity to announce the availability of Kyoto, or X-series server parts based on the 28nm Jaguar core. 

AMD takes another look at Android, Chrome

With the lukewarm reception of Windows 8, chipmakers are starting to elsewhere and even ultra-conservative AMD wants to keep its options open. The company is looking into Android and Chrome OS, more specifically into tablets and low-end clamshells. 

AMD made it clear that it is interested in Android months ago. Intel is already starting to get the first high-profile design wins in the Android space and Nvidia has created an all-new business around the Tegra SoC. Unlike Nvidia, it doesn’t seem like AMD will design consumer application processor based on the ARM architecture, at least for now. 

In a chat with PC World, AMD senior VP and general manager of global business units said AMD is “expanding its OS options” as it designs new x86 and ARM chips. The first crop of AMD’s ARM chips will be aimed at microservers rather than consumer products. In addition, AMD is expanding its custom chip business, which could benefit from the flexibility of Android and Chrome.

“We are very committed to Windows 8; we think it’s a great operating system, but we also see a market for Android and Chrome developing as well,” Su told PC World.

One of the first chips that comes to mind is Temash, AMD’s tablet centric implementation of the new Jaguar core. The first products based on the new SoC were showcased at Computex, but it is still unclear how many design wins AMD can score in the already overcrowded SoC market.

For the time being, vendors seem to be focused on Windows 8 tablets based on Temash, not Chrome or Android gear. However, that could change in a heartbeat. 

AMD issues revised roadmap

AMD has revised its CPU/APU roadmap, which was promptly leaked to ComputerBase.de, however, there are few changes to report. Nothing is slipping, Kaveri looks like it is being brought forward, but at least some things have been confirmed. 

The big Jaguar rollout is finally getting underway. Temash, or A-series Elite Mobility APUs as AMD puts it, is about to replace Z-series Hondo tablet parts, which haven’t been very successful, but Temash looks a lot more promising.

Kabini is gearing up to succeed C- and E-series Brazos 2.0 chips in the low-power essential notebook market, as well as E-series parts in Essential and SFF desktops. Kabini is expected to penetrate a bit deeper into the Mainstream notebook space, replacing low-end Trinity chips and squeezing out Richland based APUs.

Richland itself is about to enter the desktop space, but before it does it will show up in Performance and Mainstream notebooks. In standard flavour it will feature a 35W TDP, but last week AMD announced the first low voltage versions, with a 17-25W TDP envelope.

Although the numbers don’t show much of an improvement over last year’s Trinity ULV parts, AMD says it has tweaked the chips to deliver a lot more efficiency. They will also sport newer and faster graphics than Trinity. 

AMD will start introducing the first Kaveri A-series APUs toward the end of the year. Kaveri is the real new generation, with Steamroller CPU cores, CGN GPUs and HSA Application support. Kaveri will also use the new FM2+ socket. If AMD doesn’t face any delays, Richland might have a relatively short shelf life. 

There will be no changes in the desktop performance space, it’s Vishera and more Vishera. New SKUs are possible, but there will be no proper refresh, just incremental speed bumps. It comes as no surprise, as big-core server parts won’t be updated, either. However, AMD is introducing X-series microserver parts previously codenamed Kyoto.

They are based on the Jaguar core, which will be employed in embedded parts, X-series server chips, as well as the usual essential desktop, low-end notebook and hybrid/tablet flavours. Let’s not forget that Jaguar is also the basis for custom chips used in consoles.

AMD announces new low power APUs

AMD has finally taken the wraps off its low-power APU line-up for 2013. Of course, avid readers probably know what AMD has cooked up with its Jaguar and Piledriver based chips, which now have proper names to go by, and they sound worse than the codenames. 

Temash, the world’s first 28nm x86 SoC is designed for tablets and hybrids. Its market name is 2013 AMD Elite Mobility APU and it will come in dual- and quad-core configurations, with A4 and A6 branding respectively. It is based on the Jaguar core with HD 8000 series graphics and it should take care of the sub 13-inch mobile market. AMD claims up to 172 percent more CPU performance and 2012 percent more GPU performance over its predecessor. 

Kabini is now known as 2013 AMD Mainstream APU and it is also based on the Jaguar core. It will also appear in dual- and quad-core flavours. Quad-cores will end up with A-series branding, while duals will be a part of the E-series. It should deliver 88 percent better graphics performance than the competition, along with 33 percent better gaming performance and 28 percent faster file compression.

AMD’s Elite Performance APU is in fact its biggest APU, better known as Richland. While it isn’t a huge improvement over the last generation like Jaguar-based parts, it can still deliver 12 percent better productivity performance and 20 to 40 percent better visuals. However, it is much better in terms of power efficiency and AMD claims up to 51 more efficiency over previous generation Trinity chips. Richland will be marketed in the A8 and A10 segment. 

While there is not much to report on the technical front, since the specs have been out for ages, AMD’s decision to reshuffle its branding sounds like good news for the company. Many weren’t expecting Jaguar-based parts to end up with A4 and A6 branding, which means they will eat into a part of the market previously held by Trinity APUs. This is in line with AMD’s own roadmaps – it seems Jaguar is simply too good to be reserved for the low-end bargain bin like its predecessors. 

AMD beats expectations, stays in the red

AMD reported its Q1 numbers on Thursday and they were slightly better than Wall Street’s expectations.

Revenue was down 32 percent from a year ago, but at $1.09 billion it was still above expectations. AMD’s net loss narrowed to $146 billion, still in the red but better than expected.

The slow PC market is clearly taking its toll, but things could have been worse. AMD’s Q4 results were quite similar, a 32 percent drop in revenues and a similar loss. The first quarter was the slowest quarter for PC sales in two decades, and with that in mind AMD isn’t looking too bad. 

AMD generates about 80 percent of its revenue from the PC industry. Most of its revenue comes from APUs and GPUs, but it did not have any noteworthy product launches in the first quarter. Things should get better towards the end of Q2 and beyond, as shipments of new low-power APUs and custom chips for the PlayStation 4 and next-gen Xbox pick up.

Although analysts agree that the results are better than expected, some investors don’t appear to subscribe to the same point of view. AMD stock fell in early trading, but it recovered in late trading, ending the day up 4.58 percent. However, after hours trading wiped out most of its gains and the stock dipped 3.98 percent.

AMD hopes to return to profitability later this year. CEO Rory Read said the company will continue to restructure and diversify its portfolio, attacking high-growth markets like dense servers, ultralow-power clients, embedded and semi-custom chips.

AMD Temash APU spotted

AMD’s much awaited Temash APU appears to be getting ready to hit the shops.

CPU World has found a 2013 roadmap that provided some details on upcoming generations of AMD Accelerated Processing Units (APUs).

It shows the model numbers of unreleased chips, including A6-1450 “Temash” APU, A6-5200 “Kabini” part and “Richland”-based A8-5545M and A10-5750M.

Details are fairly light. All of them are quad-core processors, but there is a promise that AMD will also introduce dual-core versions.

One of the possible candidates likely to be dual cored is the A4-1200 which was mentioned in the footnotes on the “Tablets with AMD Accelerated Processors” page on the AMD website.

That page lacked many details other than the fact that the A4-1200 had two CPU cores, clocked at 1 GHz. It also has integrated Radeon HD 8180 graphics.

None of the material CPU World discovered revealed the chip’s exact TDP, although there were a few hints.

Projected power stats in different usage scenarios showed that a system “S3” state the A4-1200 APU consumes 1.2 Watt when idle, 1.4 Watt during browsing, and 2.35 Watt when playing h.264 online video at 1080p resolution. If you add up all the numbers, and divide by your shoe size, you get a figure for the total platform power. This is 2.8 Watt, 3.7 Watt and 5.3 Watt respectively.

The footnotes contain results of some benchmarks for several upcoming chips. AMD A6-1450’s score in 3DMark 06 was 2624. This is about 10 percent lower than E2-1800.

This makes the chip less interesting than the Brazos APU,which is clocked at 1.7 GHz and has higher TDP. 

AMD's John Byrne foresees HSA as industry standard

John Byrne, SVP and General Manager of Global Accounts at AMD, has told ChannelBiz UK that the recently announced Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA)’s success counts on it becoming an industry standard.

Byrne did not give much more away, but did indicate that there will be more on HSA to be revealed “very soon”.

Byrne also claimed that AMD’s Bulldozer has been doing fairly well in both the consumer and enterprise markets. This is despite what Byrne calls the “somewhat mixed” PC benchmark reviews for performance. According to Byrne, those only tell “part of the story”, and modern applications and workloads are a more realistic test of architecture.

The exec also waved goodbye to AMD’s Commercial Stable Image Platform (CSIP). The technology, he said, was “no longer needed” as AMD can control overall stability, and that means longer life cycles for commercial platforms. That stability rocketed up, according to Byrne, after AMD bought out ATI many moons ago and was able to integrate CPU and GPUs or APUs.

As far as APUs go, Byrne believes we’re at the beginning of that cycle. “As more customers launch products based on these new APUs we can see the APU momentum grow,” he said. “I think we arae only just beginning and we can continue to bring the APU experience to more customers and product designers”.

“It’s amazing to think that the APU is still a relatively new technology,” Byrne said. “Experiencing first hand what our latest APUs can deliver shows the positive direction AMD is headed with this technology”.

The full interview with Channelbiz UK is here