Thursday, June 19th 2014

AMD Details Plans to Deliver 25x APU Energy Efficiency Gains by 2020

AMD today announced its goal to deliver a 25x improvement in the energy efficiency of its Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) by 2020.1 Details including innovations that will produce the expected efficiency gains were presented today by AMD's Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster during a keynote at the China International Software and Information Service Fair (CISIS) conference in Dalian, China. The "25X20" target is a substantial increase compared to the prior six years (2008 to 2014), during which time AMD improved the typical use energy efficiency of its products more than 10x.

Worldwide, three billion personal computers use more than one percent of all energy consumed annually, and 30 million computer servers use an additional 1.5 percent of all electricity consumed at an annual cost of $14 billion to $18 billion USD. Expanded use of the Internet, mobile devices, and interest in cloud-based video and audio content in general is expected to result in all of those numbers increasing in future years.

"Creating differentiated low-power products is a key element of our business strategy, with an attending relentless focus on energy efficiency," said Papermaster. "Through APU architectural enhancements and intelligent power efficient techniques, our customers can expect to see us dramatically improve the energy efficiency of our processors during the next several years. Setting a goal to improve the energy efficiency of our processors 25 times by 2020 is a measure of our commitment and confidence in our approach."

"The energy efficiency of information technology has improved at a rapid pace since the beginning of the computer age, and innovations in semiconductor technologies continue to open up new possibilities for higher efficiency," said Dr. Jonathan Koomey, research fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. "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. 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. This would be achieved through both performance gains and rapid reductions in the typical-use power of processors. In addition to the benefits of increased performance, the efficiency gains help to extend battery life, enable development of smaller and less material intensive devices, and limit the overall environmental impact of increased numbers of computing devices."

Moore's Law states that the number of transistors capable of being built in a given area doubles roughly every two years. Dr. Koomey's research demonstrates that historically, energy efficiency of processors has closely tracked the rate of improvement predicted by Moore's Law. Through intelligent power management and APU architectural advances, in tandem with semiconductor manufacturing process technology improvements and a focus on typical use power, AMD's expects its energy efficiency achievements to outpace the historical efficiency trend predicted by Moore's law by at least 70 percent between 2014 and 2020.

Architecting for Energy-Efficiency Leadership
Like advances in computing performance, advances in power efficiency have historically come along with new generations of silicon process technology that shrink the size of each individual transistor. AMD expects to outpace the power efficiency gains expected from process technology transitions through 2020 for typical use based on successfully executing three central pillars of the company's energy efficient design strategy:
  • Heterogeneous-computing and power optimization: Through Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), AMD combines CPU and GPU compute cores and special purpose accelerators such as digital signal processors and video encoders on the same chip in the form of APUs. This innovation from AMD saves energy by eliminating connections between discrete chips, reduces computing cycles by treating the CPU and GPU as peers, and enables the seamless shift of computing workloads to the optimal processing component. The result is improved energy efficiency and accelerated performance for common workloads, including standard office applications as well as emerging visually oriented and interactive workloads such as natural user interfaces and image and speech recognition. AMD provides APUs with HSA features to the embedded, server and client device markets, and its semi-custom APUs are inside the new generation of game consoles.
  • Intelligent, real-time power management: Most computing operation is characterized by idle time, the interval between keystrokes, touch inputs or time reviewing displayed content. Executing tasks as quickly as possible to hasten a return to idle, and then minimizing the power used at idle is extremely important for managing energy consumption. Most consumer-oriented tasks such as web browsing, office document editing, and photo editing benefit from this "race to idle" behavior. The latest AMD APUs perform real-time analysis on the workload and applications, dynamically adjusting clock speed to achieve optimal throughput rates. Similarly, AMD offers platform aware power management where the processor can overclock to quickly get the job done, then drop back into low-power idle mode.
  • Future innovations in power-efficiency: Improvements in efficiency require technology development that takes many years to complete. AMD recognized the need for energy efficiency years ago and made the research investments that have since led to high impact features. Going forward many differentiating capabilities such as Inter-frame power gating, per-part adaptive voltage, voltage islands, further integration of system components, and other techniques still in the development stage should yield accelerated gains.
Industry analyst firm TIRIAS Research recently reviewed AMD's methodology for measuring its energy efficiency and the plans to achieve a 25x improvement by 2020 and produced a publicly-available white paper detailing their analysis.

"The goal of an energy-efficient processor is to deliver more performance than the prior generation at the same or less power," said Kevin Krewell, analyst at TIRIAS Research. "AMD's plan to accelerate the energy-efficiency gains for its mobile-computing processors is impressive. We believe that AMD will achieve its energy efficiency goal, partially through process improvement but mostly by combining the savings from reducing idle power, the performance boost of heterogeneous system architecture, and through more intelligent power management. With this undertaking, AMD demonstrates leadership in the computing industry, driving innovations for a more energy-efficient future."
Add your own comment

49 Comments on AMD Details Plans to Deliver 25x APU Energy Efficiency Gains by 2020

#1
RejZoR
I'd prefer if they'd have some solid plans for just 2 years ahead and not 6, that are pretty much entirely only a speculation and nothing else.

I'm not even expecting them to hold performance crown, but current stand alone CPU's are very underwhelming compared to Intel offerings. Imo. So much i'm not even looking at AMD for upgrade when even Intel doesn't seem to offer me much against my current Core i7 920, which is very old now but seems to hold on to stuff just as well as brand new spanking hot AMD FX.
Posted on Reply
#2
Assimilator
More BS PR spin from AMD. Stop claiming you're going to make awesome processors, AND MAKE THEM. Actions speak louder than words.
Posted on Reply
#3
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
AMD are basically too much and so much invested in their hardware-style-hyperthreaded cores, it's going to be years before we see them make a performance orientated dedicated CPU ONLY part. Even then, the chances are slim. They clearly haven't had any R&D on performance CPU's, and are riding on the hopes that HSA and Mantle will excuse them from making dedicated CPU's. They're going to be colossally wrong, obviously. Until they fire every single member of their CPU division, CPU R&D, and CPU marketing, we won't see any changes from bulldozer to a more Thuban-like architecture.
They're riding this APU business for now because they simply cant make money from performance CPU's, because they get lain to waste by intel's offerings. It would be a very costly risk to AMD right now to get back into that segment, because R&D costs a fortune, which AMD don't have right now, and they might fail yet again, and make no money from it.
They crapped in their own boots, and now they're running a marathon. They'll finish it eventually.
Posted on Reply
#4
Mathragh
by: RCoon
AMD are basically too much and so much invested in their hardware-style-hyperthreaded cores, it's going to be years before we see them make a performance orientated dedicated CPU ONLY part. Even then, the chances are slim. They clearly haven't had any R&D on performance CPU's, and are riding on the hopes that HSA and Mantle will excuse them from making dedicated CPU's. They're going to be colossally wrong, obviously. Until they fire every single member of their CPU division, CPU R&D, and CPU marketing, we won't see any changes from bulldozer to a more Thuban-like architecture.
They're riding this APU business for now because they simply cant make money from performance CPU's, because they get lain to waste by intel's offerings. It would be a very costly risk to AMD right now to get back into that segment, because R&D costs a fortune, which AMD don't have right now, and they might fail yet again, and make no money from it.
They crapped in their own boots, and now they're running a marathon. They'll finish it eventually.
Actually, they plan to have the first iteration of a whole new high performance core design out by the end of next year. One that is supposed to use stuff like hyperthreading.
Posted on Reply
#5
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
by: Mathragh
Actually, they plan to have the first iteration of a whole new high performance core design out by the end of next year. One that is supposed to use stuff like hyperthreading.
Didn't know that! Hurrah! But it goes to show by replacing someone with not a complete moron, that the right things get done. Also it won't be available for a couple of years I don't think, at least 2 anyway.
Posted on Reply
#6
Mathragh
by: RCoon
Didn't know that! Hurrah! But it goes to show by replacing someone with not a complete moron, that the right things get done. Also it won't be available for a couple of years I don't think, at least 2 anyway.
Yeah, on one hand I kinda don't expect much at all, the past 6 years aren't really confidence inspiring. On the other hand, I think its safe to say we're not dealing with the same company anymore, compared to the one that is responsible for everything we've gotten from amd for the past couple of years. They may actually be somewhat succesfull as a result of all the work they put in their re-organisation.

We'll see in two years I guess =D
Posted on Reply
#7
Jorge
by: Mathragh
Yeah, on one hand I kinda don't expect much at all, the past 6 years aren't really confidence inspiring. On the other hand, I think its safe to say we're not dealing with the same company anymore, compared to the one that is responsible for everything we've gotten from amd for the past couple of years. They may actually be somewhat succesfull as a result of all the work they put in their re-organisation.

We'll see in two years I guess =D
Most of AMD's issues have been execution which involved GloFo problems. While they are getting their house in order it will take time as in years not months. Not having the correct products available now is going to hurt profits which slows revovery. SOS, DD. AMD's strategic plans have generally been very good.

As far as AMD's products are concerned the current Vishera and Kaveri APUs are top quality and meet the needs of most PC consumers. They might not be to highest performing products available but they are the best value and again this is what most consumers want. Those who buy only the fastest PC hardware represent less than 5% of PC consumers.

Lower power consumption is primarily of concern for enterprise but it's nice to get the same or better performance with lower power consumption if possible. AMD has done a good job with multi power planes and performance per watt.
Posted on Reply
#8
W1zzard
TPU plans to hand out 25x more free graphics cards to readers by 2020
Posted on Reply
#9
Mathragh
by: W1zzard
TPU plans to hand out 25x more free graphics cards to readers by 2020
That's some serious graphics card scaling!
Posted on Reply
#10
GhostRyder
by: RCoon
AMD are basically too much and so much invested in their hardware-style-hyperthreaded cores, it's going to be years before we see them make a performance orientated dedicated CPU ONLY part. Even then, the chances are slim. They clearly haven't had any R&D on performance CPU's, and are riding on the hopes that HSA and Mantle will excuse them from making dedicated CPU's. They're going to be colossally wrong, obviously. Until they fire every single member of their CPU division, CPU R&D, and CPU marketing, we won't see any changes from bulldozer to a more Thuban-like architecture.
They're riding this APU business for now because they simply cant make money from performance CPU's, because they get lain to waste by intel's offerings. It would be a very costly risk to AMD right now to get back into that segment, because R&D costs a fortune, which AMD don't have right now, and they might fail yet again, and make no money from it.
They crapped in their own boots, and now they're running a marathon. They'll finish it eventually.
Well maybe we will see something now actually since Intel has just lost another lawsuit on the un-fair practices they had been doing. Maybe AMD won't be shoved to the curb by all the big companies now :twitch:. But either way we will just have to see :P

Either way, APU's are a big deal. While I do not see one for a high performance system they still offer a great incentive to the mobile market which is where most of the market for mainstream users is headed.
Posted on Reply
#11
Hood
A few years ago they were bragging about how APUs would revolutionize the industry - and they did, by letting Intel get so far ahead, they don't even have to try anymore - basically grinding the industry to a halt as far as real innovations and improvements. Thanks AMD! You guys have a lot of nerve, spouting more nonsense about your crappy APUs, whose useless graphics core is too much for general use and not enough for gaming...
Posted on Reply
#12
mroofie
Reads AMD APU *
Stops reading *
Clicks on close tab*
Posted on Reply
#13
mroofie
by: Hood
A few years ago they were bragging about how APUs would revolutionize the industry - and they did, by letting Intel get so far ahead, they don't even have to try anymore - basically grinding the industry to a halt as far as real innovations and improvements. Thanks AMD! You guys have a lot of nerve, spouting more nonsense about your crappy APUs, whose useless graphics core is too much for general use and not enough for gaming...
lol see my post :D
Posted on Reply
#14
HalfAHertz
Maybe if you compare the leakiest desktop Phenom 1 from 6 years ago to a mobile Kaveri, you might get the so-called 10x efficiency improvement, but daaaang that's a mouthful of marketing BS.
Posted on Reply
#15
Krekeris
So intel makes similar PR stunts everyone is happy, but when AMD makes same thing everyone starts to troll and make stupid comments...
Posted on Reply
#16
mroofie
by: Krekeris
So intel makes similar PR stunts everyone is happy, but when AMD makes same thing everyone starts to troll and make stupid comments...
the difference is my friend that Intel could achieve while Amd won't
its not rocket science :P
Posted on Reply
#17
GhostRyder
by: mroofie
the difference is my friend that Intel could achieve while Amd won't
its not rocket science :p
Achieve what? It took Intel Paying off companies not to use AMD products and forcing a compiler that specifically hindered apps on AMD hardware for them to get to this point. Hence why Intel has lost so many lawsuits...and gained an over powering dominance in the market.
Posted on Reply
#18
TRWOV
I don't get these grandiose announcements either. I don't know if I prefer the AMD of old with basically no PR or this jock style PR they have going right now.

Their little cores line is pretty interesting right now, more so than the big cores family. I'd like to see an Xbone/PS4 style SOC next year or so.
Posted on Reply
#19
mroofie
by: GhostRyder
Achieve what? It took Intel Paying off companies not to use AMD products and forcing a compiler that specifically hindered apps on AMD hardware for them to get to this point. Hence why Intel has lost so many lawsuits...and gained an over powering dominance in the market.
im talking about performance and energy efficiency here not law suits :d

and no im not a intel fanboy! ;p
i have been using amd CPUs for a long time now
Posted on Reply
#20
theoneandonlymrk
Nice trolling mroofie but they Are going to piss these economy figures whilst dancing on intels grave (put there by qualcom and others) ;p
Posted on Reply
#21
mroofie
by: theoneandonlymrk
Nice trolling mroofie but they Are going to piss these economy figures whilst dancing on intels grave (put there by qualcom and others) ;p
so you think mobile hardware is the future? Im guessing you're a console fanboy am i right ?
Posted on Reply
#22
mroofie
by: theoneandonlymrk
Nice trolling mroofie but they Are going to piss these economy figures whilst dancing on intels grave (put there by qualcom and others) ;p
how is intel gonna die if me and a few friends will be using intel rather than amd?

Im changing because Amd takes forever to insert newer technology in their cpus and also the fact that they might never cater for enthusiasts

My friends however got tired of waiting for amd to roll out a new architecture for the Fx series (steamroller :d)?
Posted on Reply
#23
GhostRyder
by: mroofie
how is intel gonna die if me and a few friends will be using intel rather than amd?

Im changing because Amd takes forever to insert newer technology in their cpus and also the fact that they might never cater for enthusiasts

My friends however got tired of waiting for amd to roll out a new architecture for the Fx series (steamroller :d)?
Use the edit button...Stop double posting...

Second, mobile is what most average cosumers want and is the future for the most part. The number of desktops in households has dropped significantly because for HD movies, light games, and even some medium steam games an AMD APU does plenty with the iGPU for the common user which more people are. Enthusiasts are their own market yes and APU's generally do not cater to them even though the 7850K has an unlocked multiplier and a decent cpu its still not enough to cater to the hard core people. All this drop is a choice AMD made because they have had too much trouble competing for CPU superiority after Intel decided to push all the big companies away from using their products and forced a compiler that purposefully harmed performance on AMD CPU's.

APU's are indeed the future for the mobile division, there are way more laptops out there running off an iGPU than a dedicated and doing so has also made power consumption better for more battery life. For desktops, an i5 is the obvious gamer choice and has superior single threaded performance. AMD has changed focus and now with recent AM3+ motherboards is obvious the platform is far from dead which means they are at least working on something. Knowing them they are taking their time because they want to come back at full strength after years of oppression. Saying that PR is bad when Intel and Nvidia do the exact same thing and make up junk all the time is just plain foolish, thats how the market is...
Posted on Reply
#24
Lionheart
Yeah does look like more PR BS but on another note. The trolls & fanboys are ruining this site. :banghead:
Posted on Reply
#25
theoneandonlymrk
by: mroofie
how is intel gonna die if me and a few friends will be using intel rather than amd?

Im changing because Amd takes forever to insert newer technology in their cpus and also the fact that they might never cater for enthusiasts

My friends however got tired of waiting for amd to roll out a new architecture for the Fx series (steamroller :d)?
Quick ive got one , get the net.
:D
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment