Low power, high performance
The boys and girls at AMD officially launched the company’s 2014 A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) with integrated Radeon R7 graphics. You know the parts by their codename “Kaveri,” which AMD says is representative of a major architecture improvement. Kaveri sports completely redesigned cores, new Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features, new accelerators, and enhanced power management on a new 28nm manufacturing process.
Kaveri boasts up to 12 compute cores (4 “Steamroller” CPU cores + 8 GCN GPU cores) on a die measuring 245mm2 with 2.41 billion transistors. AMD made a concerted effort to improve the graphics in Kaveri, which include the latest technologies found in Hawaii — Graphics Core Next (GCN), TrueAudio, Eyefinity, UVD, and VCE technologies. One thing that’s interesting with AMD’s focus on graphics is that the chip designer is embracing its role as a preferred choice among virtual coin miners. Apparetly Kaveri parts will be good at digging up Bitcoins, Litecoins, and other virtual currencies.
“AMD maintains our technology leadership with the 2014 AMD A-Series APUs, a revolutionary next generation APU that marks a new era of computing,” said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Business Unit, AMD. “With world-class graphics and compute technology on a single chip, the AMD A-Series APU is an effective and efficient solution for our customers and enable industry-leading computing experiences.”
The other big focus is on performance per watt. Kaveri will push better battery life on notebooks. AMD says Kaveri can scale up or down to other segments, such as embedded and server platforms, while bringing new features to small form factor (SFF) desktops.
AMD is kicking off the Kaveri launch with its A10-7850K and A10-7700K APUS, both available this month and both coming bundled with Battlefield 4. Sometime later this quarter, AMD will release its lower end A8-7600 APU. As far as we know, the A8-7600 will not come with a game bundle.