AMD Doubles Power in New Chips for Next-Generation Notebooks
By Mark Long / Data Storage Today. Updated May 15, 2012.
Advanced Micro Devices has launched a new A-series of accelerated processing units (APUs) designed for deployment in next-generation notebooks as well as in traditional desktop PCs. Code-named Trinity, the new series-A APUs reportedly double the performance of prior AMD offerings as well as boost processor performance by 29 percent through the addition of third-generation AMD turbo core technology.
AMD's turbo core technology shifts power between each chip's central processing unit and graphics processing unit to best match each application's specific requirements. As a result, AMD said CPU frequencies are able to rise to a maximum of 3.2 gigahertz.
AMD's new APUs also are capable of delivering up to 12 hours of battery life through CPU and GPU power enhancements, said AMD Corporate Vice President Chris Cloran.
"Our second-generation AMD A-Series APU is a major step forward in every performance and power dimension, allowing users to enjoy a stunning experience without having to give up the things that matter to them most," Cloran said.
The processing boost doesn't stop at mainstream notebooks, Cloran said.
"It carries over into affordable ultrathin form factors featuring the latest in AMD Radeon graphics," he said.
ARM No Threat This Year
Given the inundation of recent media reports about ARM-based processors expected to land in value-added notebooks after Microsoft launches its Windows RT operating system for mobile computing devices, we asked AMD about how the chipmaker's new chips stack up against the ARM-based offerings coming down the pike.
The A-Series APUs that AMD launched Tuesday are destined for deployment in notebooks from Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba and will likely be priced in the $500-$800 range by AMD's OEM partners, said AMD spokesman Phil Hughes.
"Value based notebooks come closer to the value proposition of our E-Series platform, which is designed for essential notebooks in the $250-$500 range," Hughes said.
Furthermore, value added notebooks running ARM-based processors are not expected to have much effect on the PC market this year. IHS iSuppli forecast last July that only 3 percent of the notebooks shipped this year will be equipped with ARM-based processors.
"We expect to see only a handful of Windows on ARM clamshell designs in market this year," Hughes said. "Additionally, we are bringing a new E-Series APU platform to market later this quarter which will deliver 11 hours of battery life, excellent x86 performance combined with DirectX 11 Radeon graphics."
An Entertainment Focus
The A-series APUs integrate AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics, which promises to boost graphics performance up to 56 percent in comparison with the company's prior-generation chips. What's more, each chip's CPU and GPU cores reportedly can deliver a benchmark-busting 700 gigaflops of computing performance when running in tandem.
Software developers are also expected to benefit from the new capabilities of AMD's latest APUs since over 100 applications and games are already being accelerated by AMD's prior-generation APUs. Machines equipped with the latest chips, for example, will benefit from plug-ins for the Chrome, Firefox and IE9 browsers capable of delivering a superior Web-based video experience.
AMD's new APUs will be going head-to-head with Intel's Ivy Bridge offerings for the Ultrabook market. According to AMD, the company's dual-core 17-watt and quad-core 25-watt AMD A-Series APUs will be landing this year in ultrathin consumer notebooks from several PC makers.
The new APUs are designed to enhance the PC entertainment proposition across the board through the introduction of a unique set of technologies for delivering the best video quality on a PC. Collectively known as AMD HD media accelerator, the new video enhancements include color vibrancy adjustments, edge enhancement, noise reduction and dynamic contrast fixes; automatic prioritization of smooth video streaming; and reduced video jitter.