AMD Aims to Boost APU Power Efficiency 25x by 2020

Pulkit Chandna

Sees Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) improvements as key to achieving target “25x20”

Advanced Micro Devices earlier this year got slapped with a shareholder class action lawsuit for allegedly overstating the sales prospects of its first generation Llano APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) — chips that house the GPU and CPU on the same die —between October 27, 2011 and October 18, 2012. However, the company, which is confident that it did not commit any violations of Federal Securities Laws in making those statements, does not plan to abandon the practice of making positive statements about the future of its APUs anytime soon. The company is now saying its APUs could end up becoming 25x more power efficient than they currently are by 2020.

During a keynote at the China International Software and Information Service Fair (CISIS) conference in Dalian, China on Thursday, AMD’s Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster told those in attendance that the chip maker has set before itself the goal of delivering a 25x improvement in the energy efficiency of its APUs by 2020. The company is calling it target “25x20”.

It expects to achieve this feat through a combination of heterogeneous-computing, improved power management and future innovations in the field of power efficiency, the company said in a press release Thursday.

“AMD has steadily improved the energy efficiency of its mobile processors, having achieved greater than a 10-fold improvement over the last six years in typical-use energy efficiency,” Dr. Jonathan Koomey, research fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University, was quoted as saying in the press release. “AMD’s focus on improving typical power efficiency will likely yield significant consumer benefits substantially improving real-world battery life and performance for mobile devices.  AMD’s technology plans show every promise of yielding about a 25-fold improvement in typical-use energy efficiency for mobile devices over the next six years, a pace that substantially exceeds historical rates of growth in peak output energy efficiency.”

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