We now have our answer to a Twitter picture teasing a new AMD A-Series APU launch that made the rounds last week. The picture showed a dozen robots on the side of a semi-truck, leading to speculation that AMD might release a 12-core APU. In a sense, that's what AMD launched today, though not in the way you might think. AMD's updated Kaveri parts released today include the A10-7800 and A6-7600 APUs, the former with 12 Compute Cores (4 CPU and 8 GPU) and the latter with 10 Compute Cores (4 CPU and 6 GPU).
Things have been almost sepulchrally quiet ever since AMD officially launched its new Mullins APU nearly three months ago, with no sign of actual devices. Well, the wait is now over as a Mullins-powered device from a top vendor has finally hit the market.
A picture making the rounds on Twitter and elsewhere has AMD fans crossing their fingers that it means what it looks like it means. And just what would that be? A 12-core chip! Bear in mind that nothing has been confirmed, and furthermore, there are some alternate explanations as to what the picture actually depicts. Disclaimer aside, the image appears to hint that a 12-core AMD A-Series APU is around the corner.
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.
Future APUs will feature a "dramatic" improvement in energy efficiency
According to AMD, there are 3 billion PCs and 30 million computer servers that use more than 2.5 percent of all energy consumed. With that in mind, AMD today went public with a goal to deliver a 25x improvement in the energy efficiency of its Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) by 2020. If AMD is able to reach its goal, it would represent a significant improvement over the 10x gain in energy efficiency it achieved during the past 6 years.
Today's a big day for AMD, and perhaps the start of a new era. That's because AMD just introduced the world to its new 2014 lineup of performance mobile APUs, codenamed Kaveri, which will slip into power efficient laptops and high-end notebooks. The new mobile APUs also represent the debut of AMD's Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features and Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture for mobile devices.
Remember being introduced to Beema and Mullins? You're forgiven if you don't recall -- the introduction came last year during AMD's Developer Summit event. At the time, AMD said it planned on making the mobile parts available before Computex 2014, and holding good to that promise, AMD has officially launched its 2014 low power and mainstream line of APUs formerly known by their codenames Beema and Mullins.
Amended agreement includes $50 million in additional purchase commitments
AMD bumped up its purchase commitments with GlobalFoundries in 2014 by about $50 million. Under terms of the amended Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA), AMD expects to pay $1.2 billion in all this year, though what's interesting is that the deal is no longer limited to traditional CPUs and APUs; it now includes GPUs and semi-custom game console chips, such as those found in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4.
It's on like Donkey Kong between AMD and Intel in the low-cost computing space. In the blue corner is Intel with its Bay Trail platform, and in the green corner is AMD, which just introduced its AM1 platform featuring a socketed quad-core or dual-core Kabini SoC. Put another way, take a Kabini APU and combine it with a socketed FS1b motherboard with a pin-grid-array (PGA) and you have the AM1 platform.