Tuesday, March 12th 2013

AMD Announces Next-Generation "Richland" A-Series Mobile APUs

AMD today announced the first availability of the AMD Elite A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), codenamed "Richland." The new AMD Elite A-Series APUs deliver innovative user experiences like facial log-in and gesture recognition, improved graphics1 and compute performance over the previous generation, and enhanced power management capabilities on a single chip.

"The high performance AMD A-Series APU continues to impress with its ability to deliver stunning graphics and immersive experiences with even more battery life. Our engineers have done a superb job of increasing processor performance while decreasing power consumption," said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's Client Business Unit. "With the capabilities built into our 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs, including new software for gesture control, facial recognition, rich entertainment and more lifelike gaming, we are delivering an ever richer experience to end users and our customers."

With faster performance and improved power management in the same platform architecture as its predecessor, coupled with AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series graphics, the 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs build on the award-winning history of AMD's original APU line-up to help users get the most out of their notebooks, whether at work, at home or on-the-go.

Differentiated User Experiences
The new AMD Elite A-Series APUs leverage the power of the combined compute and graphics cores to accelerate a suite of available software experiences that can dramatically expand and enhance the user experience:
  • AMD Face Login - Uses facial recognition technology and a webcam to allow for quick log-in to Windows and other browser-based websites that require a log-in, like social networking sites and email services;
  • AMD Gesture Control - Tracks a user's hand gestures and converts them into commands for basic functions on media players, browsers, e-readers and other popular applications leveraging a webcam, advanced image processing and machine-vision algorithms;
  • AMD Screen Mirror - Wirelessly shares content like photos, videos, HD media streams and webpages from a PC or tablet based on a 2013 AMD A-Series APU with any supported TV or display with a DLNA receiver, or with other PCs. Available only on select AMD-based devices;
  • AMD Video Entertainment Features - Make your content look its very best: AMD Steady Video technology gives users push-button control over shaky home video and helps stabilize the images for better viewing; AMD Quick Stream technology7 enables smooth video streaming and a virtually interruption free streaming experience; and AMD Perfect Picture HD8, creates rich and lifelike color on video entertainment.
This optimized-for-AMD software will come pre-loaded on select AMD Elite A-Series APU-based notebooks later this year and will be downloadable from AMD website next month.

Next Level Performance
Through engineering optimizations on the previous generation of the AMD A-Series APU platform architecture (formerly codenamed "Trinity") and updated graphics, the 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs feature significant performance increases, along with support for high-end technologies:
  • Visual and compute performance increases over the previous generation of AMD A-Series APUs;
  • AMD Start Now Technology for tablet-like responsiveness;
  • Improved AMD Turbo CORE technology with higher boost frequencies than the previous generation, for more performance when you need it and energy conservation when you don't;
  • Support for AMD Eyefinity technology10, AMD Radeon Dual Graphics, and DirectX 11.
Enhanced Power Management
AMD continues a power/performance leadership through the latest generation of power management technologies. These boosting and throttling technologies enable more intelligent, higher compute and graphics core performance to help enhance PC responsiveness and extend battery life. Building on the idea of AMD AllDay Power, the 2013 AMD Elite A-Series Platform enables up to 7.9 hours of web browsing, 5.7 hours of HD video playback and up to 10 hours of resting battery life on a 55 watt/hour battery.

Availability and Technical Details
Performance and traditional notebooks based on these 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs are shipping now with availability beginning this month in select regions. Model numbers and technical details for each are as follows:
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35 Comments on AMD Announces Next-Generation "Richland" A-Series Mobile APUs

#1
Rebel333
Where the performance reviews?
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#2
TheLostSwede
Elite quad core, really AMD, really :shadedshu
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
In slide number 5, did AMD just score a self-goal by labeling module as "CPU"? Discuss...
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#4
BarbaricSoul
What exactly makes a processing unit a APU as compared to a CPU. At first I was thinking it was because of it being a combination of a CPU and GPU in one, but that would make my 2600k an APU also. So what exactly is the difference between a APU and a CPU?
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#5
Cold Storm
Battosai
by: BarbaricSoul
What exactly makes a processing unit a APU as compared to a CPU. At first I was thinking it was because of it being a combination of a CPU and GPU in one, but that would make my 2600k an APU also. So what exactly is the difference between a APU and a CPU?
To reply with the wiki:

"An accelerated processing unit (APU) is a processing system that includes additional processing capability designed to accelerate one or more types of computations outside of a CPU. This may include a graphics processing unit (GPU) used for general-purpose computing (GPGPU), a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), or similar specialized processing system"

I think AMD is trying to push the term APU so that people can tell the difference between the two.. Even though Intel can use the term APU, I don't think they would go far into using it since whenever most think of a CPU, they think intel. So, my thought is APU will be branded into the term for AMD...


Wonder how switchable graphics will work with them. I know intel/amd it was a pain to try to get working.
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#6
Dent1
by: BarbaricSoul
What exactly makes a processing unit a APU as compared to a CPU. At first I was thinking it was because of it being a combination of a CPU and GPU in one, but that would make my 2600k an APU also. So what exactly is the difference between a APU and a CPU?
The Ivy bridge / Sandy Bridge are APUs.

But Intel market the it as CPU because enthusiasts associate APUs with being low performance mobile parts, thus causing confusion as the 2600K is a high end part.
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#7
BarbaricSoul
by: Cold Storm
To reply with the wiki:

"An accelerated processing unit (APU) is a processing system that includes additional processing capability designed to accelerate one or more types of computations outside of a CPU. This may include a graphics processing unit (GPU) used for general-purpose computing (GPGPU), a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), or similar specialized processing system"

I think AMD is trying to push the term APU so that people can tell the difference between the two.. Even though Intel can use the term APU, I don't think they would go far into using it since whenever most think of a CPU, they think intel. So, my thought is APU will be branded into the term for AMD...


Wonder how switchable graphics will work with them. I know intel/amd it was a pain to try to get working.
by: Dent1
The Ivy bridge is an APU.

But intel market the it as CPU because enthusiasts associate APUs with being low performance mobile parts, thus causing confusion as the 2600K is a high end part.
Oh, so basically, with modern processing units like the 2600k and FX8350, the only difference between being considered an APU or a CPU is what the manufacturer chooses to call it?
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#8
Dent1
by: BarbaricSoul
Oh, so basically, with modern processing units like the 2600k and FX8350, the only difference between being considered an APU or a CPU is what the manufacturer chooses to call it?
No. Because the FX 8350 doesn't have an integrated GPU so it can't be an APU by definition. It's a CPU, if AMD called it an APU they would get sued as customers would feel cheated as there is no video element.

But Ivy / Sandy Bridge on the other hand is an APU, Intel can get away with calling it just a CPU. Customers can't sue because Intel will argue they are getting a free integrated element.

With Intel it's all marketing, as I said APUs are associated with low end parts. If Intel called Ivy Bridge an APU noobs will think it's a low end part like the AMD Llano or AMD Trinity. Which it's not.
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#9
TheLaughingMan
by: Rebel333
Where the performance reviews?
Save you the trouble of looking for them. These are mobile chips first and based on the numbering, fall behind the current A10-5800K in performance overall and on CPU side. GPU likely to have some marginal improvements, but will not see a real difference until the next two graphics driver updates. Then you can expect 5% to 15% improvement on GPU (AMD standard bump).

Desktop version will come in 95W TDP is my guess and the top will be an A10-5900K.
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#10
Dent1
by: TheLaughingMan
Save you the trouble of looking for them. These are mobile chips first and based on the numbering, fall behind the current A10-5800K in performance overall and on CPU side. GPU likely to have some marginal improvements, but will not see a real difference until the next two graphics driver updates. Then you can expect 5% to 15% improvement on GPU (AMD standard bump).

Desktop version will come in 95W TDP is my guess and the top will be an A10-5900K.
I wonder how Intel will answer this threat. Because the GPU portion of their high end APUs (Ivy Bridge 37xxx) are already significantly behind. For laptop gamer and mobile gamers in general AMD seems to be the only option.
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#12
Jorge
The big gain with Richland is in reduced power consumption for the portable market segment. Richland is below Ivy Bridge in power consumption and may be competitive with Haswell. This is an evolutionary process in CPU/APU technology.

APUs offer better performance and lower heat and cost over comparable discrete CPU/APU packages. Eventually we will all be using APUs as they are the logical evolution of the discrete components.
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#13
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
the grammar on the slides is scary.
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#14
Phusius
I'm thinking of building a APU PC for my 10 year old nephew so he can game with me, cheers to AMD for helping poor folk build a gaming PC.
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#15
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: de.das.dude
the grammar on the slides is scary.
Those slides were not part of the press release (they're still from AMD), and its intended audience isn't exactly consumers. I added them anyway, because quite a few of us can make sense of them.
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#16
AlB80
Nothing new. Same die, same performance.
Richland == Trinity.Overclock()
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#17
theoneandonlymrk
by: AlB80
Nothing new. Same die, same performance.
Richland == Trinity.Overclock()
Bit more than nowt new, with better power management it should utilise whats there better, hopefully a lot better
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#18
Dent1
by: AlB80
Nothing new. Same die, same performance.
Richland == Trinity.Overclock()
Same die, maybe. Same performance, doubtful. Did you read the article?

by: btarunr

Next Level Performance
Through engineering optimizations on the previous generation of the AMD A-Series APU platform architecture (formerly codenamed "Trinity") and updated graphics, the 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs feature significant performance increases along with support for high-end technologies:
Posted on Reply
#19
Steven B
APU is a made up term from AMD which basically means GPU and CPU on the same die, notice you can search Wikipedia's links and none of them really come back to any real definition other than what AMD says and what some blogger came up with.

Maybe next time they can call it EPU like ASUS does, but then make it Extreme Processing Unit lol or MPU maximum processing Unit, or SPU, Supreme Processing Unit, or here is a good one, IPU, integrated processing unit.

CPU still is what makes sense for most, as the GPU has become much more integral in system processing.
Posted on Reply
#20
HumanSmoke
by: Dent1
Same die, maybe. Same performance, doubtful. Did you read the article?
The article is tagged "Press release" - also known as the "Jam as many hyperbolic buzzwords as possible into paragraphs short enough to satisfy ADHD sufferers"

EDIT: Just noticed that only the A10 has DDR3-1866 support - why not extend it to the other SKU's ?

Also, a salient point for those people lambasting me for suggesting that Richland wasn't GCN:
The new Richland A-Series APUs are best described as improved Trinity APUs. They're based on the same second-generation "Piledriver" compute cores that had their APU debut in Trinity, and their GPU remains based on the AMD "Cayman" VLIW4 (very long instruction word) architecture.
[source #1] [source #2]
Posted on Reply
#21
NC37
by: BarbaricSoul
What exactly makes a processing unit a APU as compared to a CPU. At first I was thinking it was because of it being a combination of a CPU and GPU in one, but that would make my 2600k an APU also. So what exactly is the difference between a APU and a CPU?
The difference is APUs have GPU cores which are of discrete quality. Basically a discrete GPU running with shared VRAM. Intel CPUs have GPUs with cores of...garbage dump quality. So AMD can continue to call them APUs until Intel catches up. But then even if Intel did, they still will since Intel doesn't have discrete graphics.

The weakness of APUs is the reliance on RAM speeds due to the shared VRAM. If you notice on the consoles, the PS4 has extremely fast RAM coupled with it's APU. If we had the same on desktop then there would be no point for AMD to make FX and APUs. Just put the graphics on an FX chip and run with it cause the RAM speed would not be a bottleneck anymore.
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#22
xorbe
Any idea about the arrival date of the FM2 flavor? And if they'll work well enough in existing motherboards to flash the bios to the latest version with official support?
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#23
sergionography
by: NC37
The difference is APUs have GPU cores which are of discrete quality. Basically a discrete GPU running with shared VRAM. Intel CPUs have GPUs with cores of...garbage dump quality. So AMD can continue to call them APUs until Intel catches up. But then even if Intel did, they still will since Intel doesn't have discrete graphics.

The weakness of APUs is the reliance on RAM speeds due to the shared VRAM. If you notice on the consoles, the PS4 has extremely fast RAM coupled with it's APU. If we had the same on desktop then there would be no point for AMD to make FX and APUs. Just put the graphics on an FX chip and run with it cause the RAM speed would not be a bottleneck anymore.
actualy the difference is huge, intel remains x86 with gpu on board to do graphics, amd is building an eco system on the same die with different computational parts dedicated for different tasks, the gpu acceleration is only one part. so yes right now amd is still leaning more towards a gpu and a cpu on same die but it remains more integrated than intel and in the future it will be more so with the shared hsa controller and what not. not to mention amd is investing much more into software
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#24
Madn3ss795
C'mon AMD just release Kaveri with GCN-based IGP quick :banghead:
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#25
Prima.Vera
Some comparison test with the Intel's mobile similar would be interesting
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