AMD hopes to have a big second half in 2013, launching three new CPUs featuring integrated graphics that perform on par with the company’s discrete GPUs. On Thursday, AMD revealed key details of these next-generation mobile chips, code-n...
AMD hopes to have a big second half in 2013, launching three new CPUs featuring integrated graphics that perform on par with the company’s discrete GPUs. On Thursday, AMD revealed key details of these next-generation mobile chips, code-named Temash, Kabini, and Richland.
In a briefing in advance of the announcement, AMD vice-president John Taylor explained how the new chips leverage a number of firsts in AMD’s history: The first CPU with an onboard memory controller, the first dual-core CPU, and the first CPU with an on-die GPU.
These are interesting achievements, but it's worth noting that AMD hasn’t bested Intel in the CPU market since 2006. That's the year Intel introduced the first generation of its Core microarchitecture, and pulled ahead. AMD has performed better in the discrete GPU market, frequently trading the number one spot in the graphics space with arch-rival Nvidia. And now the company is looking to that GPU effort to catch up to Intel in the mobile CPU market.
This block diagram shows how AMD's new APUs are structured.
Taylor says that consumers’ desire for thin and light computers of all types—desktops as well as notebooks and tablets—favors AMD’s APU (accelerated processing unit) effort, a chip design that combines x86-compatible CPUs with AMD’s latest Radeon graphics processors. “If you want low power and long battery life,” said Taylor, “you need an APU. Combining those functions on one chip reduces cost. It reduces power consumption, and it eliminates the complexity of using the PCIe bus to communicate with a separate graphics processor.”
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