News Posts matching "APU"

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AMD "Zen" CPU Prototypes Tested, "Meet all Expectations"

AMD reportedly finished testing some of its first "Zen" micro-architecture CPU prototypes, and concluded that they "meet all expectations," with "no significant bottlenecks found" in its design. This should mean that AMD's "Zen" chips should be as competitive with Intel chips as it set them out to be. The company is planning to launch its first client CPUs based on the "Zen" micro-architecture in 2016, based on its swanky new AM4 socket, with DDR4 memory and integrated PCIe (a la APUs). Zen sees AMD revert to the large, monolithic core design, from its "Bulldozer" multi-core module design with a near doubling of number-crunching machinery per-core, compared to its preceding architecture.


AMD Pro A12 "Carrizo" Chip Offers TDP as Low as 12W

AMD's "Excavator" module could fetch big power dividends for the company, with the top of the line Pro A12 "Carrizo" APU for mobile platforms offering TDP as low as 12W (normal usage), going up to 35W (maximum stress). AMD allows users to set the TDP for their processors. Built on the existing 28 nm process, these chips offer TDPs as low as the ones offered by Intel, built on 22 nm and even 14 nm nodes.

This is made possible because "Excavator" features heavily compacted registers and decode engines, and AMD spent a lot of R&D kicking out redundant or useless components from the silicon. The recently launched A-Series Pro "Carrizo" APUs feature two "Excavator" modules (four CPU cores), a GPU with eight GCN 1.2 compute units (512 stream processors), 2 MB of total cache, dual-channel DDR3-2133 integrated memory controllers.

AMD Zen Features Double the Per-core Number Crunching Machinery to Predecessor

AMD "Zen" CPU micro-architecture has a design focus on significantly increasing per-core performance, particularly per-core number-crunching performance, according to a report. It sees a near doubling of the number of decoder, ALU, and floating-point units per-core, compared to its predecessor. In essence, the a Zen core is AMD's idea of "what if a Steamroller module of two cores was just one big core, and supported SMT instead."

In the micro-architectures following "Bulldozer," which debuted with the company's first FX-series socket AM3+ processors, and running up to "Excavator," which will debut with the company's "Carrizo" APUs, AMD's approach to CPU cores involved modules, which packed two physical cores, with a combination of dedicated and shared resources between them. It was intended to take Intel's Core 2 idea of combining two cores into an indivisible unit further.

Study Shows 6th Gen. AMD A-Series APU Cuts Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 50%

Results of an AMD carbon footprint analysis of its 6th Generation A-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), codenamed "Carrizo," show that using the new processor can result in a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the previous generation APU. The study results are based on the widely accepted Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) established by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and were announced today during an AMD sponsored media panel on energy efficient information technology. Research shows that 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies have established public targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

"Creating low-power, energy efficient products is a key element of our business strategy, and in turn, we are working alongside our customers to reduce the environmental footprint of technology while relentlessly improving performance," said Mark Papermaster, senior vice president and chief technology officer, AMD. "The results from the carbon footprint study for the latest AMD APU demonstrate our commitment to continued energy efficiency gains, sustainability, and lower operating costs for consumers and enterprises."

NVIDIA Ships Over 75% of Discrete GPUs in Q2-2015

Mercury Research published its market analysis for PC Graphics, for the second quarter of 2015 (April-June), this is an important quarter as this is when people tend to buy or upgrade their PCs for the summer break. According to the numbers posted by Mercury Research, NVIDIA hit a new record in discrete GPU market share. In the assessment period, 76.4 percent of desktop discrete GPUs were NVIDIA, up from 63.8 percent in Q2-2014. AMD, the only other desktop discrete GPU maker, saw its share drop to 23.6 percent.

The mobile discrete GPU figures were slightly better for AMD, with the company making up 34.6 percent, slightly up from 33.2 percent in Q2-2014. NVIDIA slipped proportionately down to 65.4 percent, from 66.8 percent in Q2-2014. When being a "discrete" GPU is no longer a criteria, and Intel is added to the mix, i.e. every CPU with graphics Intel sold, and every APU AMD sold (including the ones it sold to Microsoft and Sony), NVIDIA makes up 15.7 percent, AMD 14 percent, and Intel a whopping 70.1 percent. The big-picture isn't looking good. PC graphics shipments declined by 8 percent over the quarter, and down 21 percent from the same time last year. This is the worst on-year decline since the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Source: Mercury Research

AMD Details Exascale Heterogenous Processor (EHP) for Supercomputers

AMD published a paper with the IEEE for a new high-density computing device concept, which it calls the Exascale Heterogenous Processor or (EHP). It may be a similar acronym to APU (accelerated processing unit), but is both similar and different to it in many ways, which make it suitable for high-density supercomputing nodes. The EHP is a chip that has quite a bit in common with the recently launched "Fiji" GPU, that drives the company's flagship Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card.

The EHP is a combination of a main die, housing a large number of CPU cores, a large GPGPU unit, and an interposer, which connects the main die to 32 GB of HBM2 memory that's on-package, and is used as both main-memory and memory for the integrated GPGPU unit, without memory partitioning, using hUMA (heterogeneous unified memory access). The CPU component consists of 32 cores likely based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, using eight "Zen" quad-core subunits. There's no word on the CU (compute unit) count of the GPGPU core. The EHP in itself will be highly scalable. AMD hopes to get a working sample of this chip out by 2016-17.


AMD Announces the A8-7670K Desktop APU

AMD announced availability of its newest budget socket FM2+ APU, the A8-7670K. This part, like the recently-launched A10-7870K, is based on the company's new 28 nm "Godavari" silicon. It combines a quad-core x86-64 CPU based on the "Excavator" micro-architecture, with an integrated Radeon R7 series graphics core, featuring six Graphics CoreNext 1.2 compute units amounting to 384 stream processors; a dual-channel DDR3 integrated memory controller, with native support for DDR3-2133 MHz memory; and a PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex.

The CPU cores on the AMD A8-7670K are clocked at 3.60 GHz, with maximum TurboCore frequency of 3.90 GHz. The CPU features unlocked base-clock multipliers, enabling CPU overclocking. The four CPU cores are spread across two "Excavator" modules, with a total of 4 MB of cache between them. The GPU is clocked at 757 MHz, and offers native support for DirectX 12 (feature level 12_0). It offers Dual-Graphics support, letting you pair it with select discrete GPUs from AMD's lineup. With the advent of DirectX 12, it should also support asynchronous multi-GPU. The A8-7670K is available now, and is priced at US $117.99 in its retail package.

AMD Updates Second Quarter Outlook

AMD today announced that revenue for the second quarter ended June 27, 2015 is expected to be lower than previously guided. The company now expects second quarter revenue to decrease approximately 8 percent sequentially, compared to the previous guidance of down 3 percent, plus or minus 3 percent. The sequential decrease is primarily due to weaker than expected consumer PC demand impacting the company's Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) APU sales. The company expects second quarter channel sales and channel inventory reduction efforts to be in-line with the company's plans.

The company anticipates non-GAAP gross margin to be approximately 28 percent, compared to the previous non-GAAP guidance of approximately 32 percent primarily due to a higher mix of Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment sales and lower than anticipated Computing and Graphics segment APU unit volumes due to weaker than expected OEM PC product demand. Additionally the company anticipates GAAP gross margin to be further impacted by a one-time charge of approximately $33 million associated with a technology node transition from 20 nanometer (nm) to FinFET. The company started several product designs in 20 nm that will instead transition to the leading-edge FinFET node.

AMD Doesn't Trust its Own Processors - Project Quantum Driven by Intel Core i7-4790K

One of the three unexpected products based on the "Fiji" GPU, which AMD announced at its E3 event, Project Quantum, or the quest to design a 4K-worthy SFF gaming PC, which runs two "Fiji" GPUs in CrossFire, had the press assume that the rest of the system could be AMD-based, such as AMD-branded (albeit Patriot Memory manufactured) memory, AMD-branded (albeit OCZ manufactured) SSD; and importantly an AMD-made CPU or APU. Given its liquid-cooling, the prospect of a 95W "Godavari," or even upcoming "Carrizo" APU didn't seem far-fetched. Even a 95W FX CPU could have been deployed, since AM3+ on mini-ITX is not impossible.

When taken apart, Project Quantum was shown to be running an Intel Core i7-4790K "Devil's Canyon" CPU, on an ASRock-made mini-ITX motherboard, with its non-essential parts soldered out. The i7-4790K is neighbored by a pair of half-height Crucial Ballistix memory modules, which is excusable, since there are no half-height AMD Radeon memory modules, yet. The SSD is AMD-branded. The unit features a unified liquid cooling solution that's custom-made for AMD, by Asetek. A large (200 mm?) radiator, with a single fan, cools the CPU, the PCH, as well as the two "Fiji" GPUs.

Source: Kitguru

Toshiba Unveils New Satellite Radius Line of 2-in-1 PCs

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced three new 2-in-1 convertible PC designs: the 14-inch Satellite Radius 14, 15.6-inch Satellite Radius 15 and 15.6-inch Satellite Radius 15 4K Ultra HD Edition. Built for Windows 10, these convertible PCs feature a precision 2-axis hinge, allowing the screen to rotate a full 360-degrees, which converts the devices from laptop to tablet and everything in between.

"A tremendous amount of R&D has gone into convertible PC design over Toshiba's 30-year history as a laptop leader," said Philip Osako, senior director of product marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "Today, convertibility is all about convenience - consumers can ditch multiple devices and get it all done with one. We believe that by offering new thin and light designs, screen options in resolutions from HD to 4K and a range of new, affordable price points, we're playing our part in further fueling the growth potential of this category."

AMD Embedded G-Series SoC Powers New Line of Samsung All-in-One Thin Client

AMD today announced that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. selected the AMD Embedded G-Series SoC (system on chip) for a new line of all-in-one cloud monitors featuring integrated thin client technology. The Samsung 21.5-inch TC222W and 23.6-inch TC242W are powered by AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs that couple high-performance compute and graphics capability in a highly integrated, low power design. The AMD SoC improves data transfer rates and saves space on the motherboard, which makes it a perfect fit for the compact form factors required by thin clients.

"Thin client is a key market for AMD Embedded Solutions and we're thrilled that Samsung has chosen to partner with us for their newest line of products," said Scott Aylor, vice president and general manager, Embedded Solutions, AMD. "The collaboration with Samsung builds on the number one position AMD holds in a market that continues to grow, becoming more and more prevalent in commercial installations that serve a broad range of markets."

Planned availability starting in Q3 2015, the Windows-supported Samsung cloud monitors will provide customers with expanded choice, capability and configuration flexibility. Complete with Samsung's professional-grade display panel, the cloud monitors will create a superior user experience through easy connectivity and high-quality reliability. As a superior option for effective desktop virtualization, Samsung's thin-client monitors will also enable improved productivity and optimized end-to-end performance.

AMD Unveils 6th Generation A-Series Processor

AMD today announced its 6th Generation A-Series Processor, the world's first high-performance Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) in a System-on-Chip (SoC) design. Previously codenamed "Carrizo," the 6th Generation AMD A-Series Processor takes advantage of extensive AMD processor and graphics IP enabling exceptional computing experiences not possible before. The 6th Generation AMD A-Series Processor is the most versatile notebook processor ever produced, built to excel at today's and tomorrow's consumer and business applications, delivering premium streaming entertainment, unmatched smooth online gaming, and innovative computing experiences, with all day unplugged performance.

The world's first high-performance Accelerated Processing Unit in a SoC design marks a number of technology firsts: the world's first High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) hardware decode support for notebooks, the first Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0-compliant design, and the first ARM TrustZone-capable high-performance APU. The new processor harnesses up to 12 Compute Cores -- 4 CPU + 8 GPU -- leveraging AMD "Excavator" cores and the third generation of AMD's award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. The result is a groundbreaking processor that boasts more than twice the battery life of its predecessor, up to 2x faster gaming performance than competitive processors, innovative computing experiences enabled through HSA, and a premium Microsoft Windows 10 experience with support for DirectX 12, adding up to an extraordinary experience for consumers.

AMD Announces New A-Series Desktop APUs

AMD today introduced the latest addition to its line of desktop A-Series processors, the A10-7870K APU, a refresh to the existing line of processors codenamed "Kaveri". The A10-7870K delivers a best-in-class experience for eSports and online gaming with superior performance, best-in-class efficiency in DirectX 12, and unique features. The new processor also delivers exceptional performance in modern workloads and is designed for the future with Microsoft Windows 10.

The latest iteration of the popular and powerful AMD A-Series APU family provides premium performance and multitasking powered by up to 12 compute cores (4 CPU + 8 GPU). The responsiveness and processing power of the A10-7870K APU enables an immersive user experience on Windows 10 PCs while offering an easy path for PC builders looking to upgrade to discrete-level graphics and faster processing at an afforadable price. The A10-7870K APU is available at e-tail now at a suggested price (SEP) of US $137, and through participating system builders.

TechPowerUp Announces GPU-Z 0.8.3

TechPowerUp announced the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular graphics system information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility. Version 0.8.3 adds support for new GPUs, updates support for existing ones, adds new features, and addresses some bugs. To begin with, GPU-Z adds a new feature that tells you if the video BIOS embeds a UEFI module or not, letting you use some of the newer OS features such as Secure Boot and Fast Boot.

GPU-Z 0.8.3 comes with support for new and upcoming GPUs, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, GTX 965M, GTX 950M, NVS315, and GT 750 (GK106). On the AMD front, it adds support for AMD "Fiji" GPU, with its new memory technology; and "Mullins" APU (Radeon R2 and R3 series). It also adds support for the integrated graphics cores inside several Intel Core "Broadwell" CPUs. OpenCL detection code is improved, and a missing PerfCap sensor bug is fixed.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.3 | GPU-Z 0.8.3 ASUS ROG Themed

The complete change-log follows.

AMD to Emphasize on "Generation" with Future CPU Branding

AMD is planning to play a neat branding game with Intel. Branding of the company's 2016 lineup of CPUs and APUs will emphasize on "generation," much in the same way Intel does with its Core processor family. AMD will mention in its PIB product packaging, OEM specs sheets, and even its product logo (down to the case-badge), that its 2016 products (FX-series CPUs and A-series APUs) are the company's "6th generation." 2016 marks prevalence of Intel's Core "Skylake" processor family, which is its 6th generation Core family (succeeding Nehalem/Westmere, Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Broadwell). AMD is arriving at its "6th generation" moniker counting "Stars," "Bulldozer," "Piledriver," "Steamroller," and "Excavator," driving its past 5 generations of APUs, and the occasional FX CPU.

It turns out that the emphasis on "generation" is big with DIY and SI retail channels. Retailers we spoke with, say that they find it easier to break through Intel's often-confusing CPU socket change cycle, which ticks roughly every 18-24 months. Customers, they say, find it easier to simply mention the "generation" of Core processor they want, to get all relevant components to go with them (such as motherboard and memory bundles). While AMD's FX brand clearly didn't see generations beyond "Piledriver," the company's decision to unify the socket for its FX and A-Series product lines next year, with AM4, makes "6th generation FX processor" valid.

AMD "Zen" Offers a 40% IPC Increase Over "Excavator"

In its Investor Day presentation, led by CEO Lisa Su, and CTO Mark Papermaster, AMD made a slew of careful, near-term product announcements, and market strategies. One of its announcements that strike us, is the company's emphasis on getting the CPU core design right. The company talked about its "Zen" CPU core architecture, not from a technical standpoint, on how it fits into the company's near-term. It turns out that the company is betting on a massive performance increase.

AMD announced that its "Zen" CPU core, will offer a massive 40 percent increase in IPC (instructions per clock) or in other words, performance/clock, over the existing "Excavator" CPU core architecture. Zen will introduce features such as SMT (simultaneous multi-threading), a brand new low-latency cache system, and will leverage the 14 nm FinFET process. The first products based on Zen will be desktop CPUs in the 6th generation FX processor family, which will be launched in 2016. AMD plans to unify the CPU and APU into one socket, which will be called AM4 (and not the previously thought of "FM3"). You'll be able to install both CPUs (which lack integrated graphics, but feature more CPU cores); and the company's 7th generation A-series APUs (which integrate both CPU and iGPUs), on the same kind of motherboards.

MSI Launches 8 New Socket FM2+ Motherboards for AMD "Godavari" APU

MSI, world leading in motherboard design, is pleased to announce the launch of 8 new AMD FM2+/FM2 socket based motherboards supporting the latest AMD Godavari APU. These new models are available in ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ATX form factors and are backwards compatible with FM2 processors (Kaveri, Richland, Trinity, 6000 and 5000 series). MSI has packed these models with a rich blend of features and technologies, such as onboard LAN, PCI Express 3.0 x16, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 and multiple display support, offering the most stable and most cost-effective solution available.

AMD Zen-based 8-core Desktop CPU Arrives in 2016, on Socket FM3

In what is a confirmation that AMD has killed socket AM3+ and its 3-chip platform, a leaked slide that's part of a larger press-deck addressing investors, tells us that the company is planning to launch a high-performance desktop processor targeting enthusiasts, based on its next-generation "Zen" architecture, in 2016. Our older articles detail the Zen CPU core design, and the way in which AMD will build multi-core CPUs with it. This processor will be codenamed "Summit Ridge," and will be a CPU, and not an APU as previously reported. In AMD-speak, what sets a CPU apart from an APU is its lack of integrated graphics.

AMD "Summit Ridge" will be an 8-core CPU built on the 14 nanometer silicon fab process. It will feature eight "Zen" cores, with 512 KB of L2 cache per core, 16 MB of L3 cache, with 8 MB shared between two sets of four cores, each; a dual-channel integrated memory controller that likely supports both DDR3 and DDR4 memory types; and an integrated PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, with a total of 22 lanes. We can deduce this from the fact that "Summit Ridge" will be built in the same upcoming socket FM3 package, which the company's "Bristol Ridge" Zen-based APU will be built on. "Summit Ridge" will hence be more competitive with Intel's 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors, such as the i7-6700K and i5-6600K, than the company's "Broadwell-E" HEDT platform.

First AMD "Zen" Chips to be Quad-Core

Some of the first CPUs and APUs based on AMD's next-generation "Zen" micro-architecture could be quad-core. "Zen" will be AMD's first monolithic core design after a stint with multi-core modules, with its "Bulldozer" architecture. Our older article details what sets Zen apart from its predecessor. As expected, in a multi-core chip, Zen cores share no hardware resources with each other, than a last-level cache (L3 cache), much like Intel's current CPU architecture.

There's just one area where Zen will differ from Haswell. With Haswell, Intel has shown that it can clump any number of cores on a chip, and make them share a proportionately large L3 cache. Haswell-E features 8 cores sharing a 20 MB cache. The Haswell-EX features 18 cores sharing 45 MB of cache. With Zen, however, the scale up stops at 4 cores sharing 8 MB of L3 cache. A set of four cores makes up what AMD calls a "quad-core unit." To be absolutely clear, this is not a module, the cores share no hardware components with each other, besides the L3 cache.

AMD Readying "Godavari" APUs for May Launch, 14 nm APUs in 2016

AMD is readying its next-gen APUs, codenamed "Godavari" for launch in May 2015, according to industry sources in Taiwan. A successor to "Kaveri," Godavari will feature updated "Excavator" architecture based CPU cores, and the latest Graphics CoreNext 1.2 based stream processors on the integrated GPU. The APU will feature PCI-Express gen 3.0 and high-speed DDR3 integrated memory controllers, just like its predecessor "Kaveri," and could be based on the existing FM2+ platform. These chips will compete against some of the entry/mainstream variants of Intel's Core "Broadwell" processors. It's likely that these chips could be built on existing 28 nm process.

It's also being reported that AMD will launch its first APUs based on the 14 nanometer fab process, codenamed "Summit Ridge," in 2016. These will be succeeded by "Raven Ridge" APUs in 2017. AMD could use Samsung and GlobalFoundries to make its 14 nm chips. Lastly, AMD is reportedly in talks with ASMedia to integrate its USB 3.1 controller logic into its new motherboard chipset, which it plans to launch in September 2015.Source: DigiTimes

AMD "Zen" A Monolithic Core Design

AMD's upcoming "Zen" architecture will see a major change in the way the company designs its CPU cores. It will be a departure from the "module" core design introduced with "Bulldozer," in which two cores with shared resources constitute the indivisible unit of a multi-core processor. A "Zen" core will have dedicated resources in a way things used to be before "Bulldozer," and only the last-level cache (L3 cache), will be shared between cores. "Zen" will also implement SMT, much in the same way as Intel processors do, with HyperThreading Technology.

The first implementation of "Zen" will be an insanely powerful APU (on paper anyway), featuring 16 physical "Zen" CPU cores, 32 logical CPUs enabled with SMT, 512 KB dedicated L2 cache per core, and 32 MB of shared L3 cache. The CPU's ISA instruction set will see a spring-cleaning, with the removal of underused instruction-sets, and the introduction of new ones. Other features on this APU are equally surprising - a quad-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller, a separate HBM (high-bandwidth memory) controller dedicated to the integrated graphics, with up to 512 GB/s bandwidth, and an integrated graphics core featuring "Greenland-class" stream processors. Given that AMD is able to build 7-billion transistor GPUs on existing 28 nm processes, building an APU with these chops doesn't sound far-fetched. The company could still have to rely on a newer fab.

Source: FudZilla

AMD Embedded R-Series APU Powers Samsung Electronics Digital Signage Systems

AMD today announced that the AMD Embedded R-Series accelerated processing unit (APU), previously codenamed "Bald Eagle," is powering the latest set-back-box (SBB) digital media players from Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd. With high performance, low power, and broad connectivity, the new Samsung SBB-B64DV4 is an ideal fit for demanding signage applications that transform Samsung SMART Signage Displays into inclusive digital tools for a wide range of business needs.

Using AMD's Embedded R-Series APUs, Samsung SBB media players for digital signage deliver breakthrough HD graphics performance and support multi-video stream capabilities up to two displays, all in a power efficient and ultra-compact form factor.

"Digital signage is a key vertical for the AMD Embedded business," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. "The AMD Embedded R-Series APU enables leading digital signage providers to harness high levels of compute and graphics performance within a low-power design envelope. AMD Embedded Solutions help designers at Samsung achieve aggressive form factor goals and drive down system costs while providing the rich multimedia their digital signage customers' demand."

AMD Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuit

Over-promising and under-delivering with its very first accelerated processing units (APU), codenamed "Llano," is coming back to haunt AMD, with a US District Court ruling that the company must face claims from investors over potential securities fraud. Launched in Q3-2012, AMD's A-series "Llano" APUs went largely unsold due to various factors including lack of product appeal, competition from Intel, forcing AMD to pull in its second-generation "Trinity" APU too soon. The related development first took shape in January 2014.

The swelling unsold "Llano" inventory forced an inventory writedown of $100 million, reducing the company's worth by nearly that much overnight, and tanking the value of the AMD stock. While AMD talked about the concept of an APU for years, Intel was the first to come out with a processor that integrates a graphics processor, with its Core i3 and Core i5 "Clarkdale" processors. The suit claims that AMD misrepresented production of "Llano" chips to its investors despite supply issues from its foundry partner GlobalFoundries, artificially inflating the value of the company in 2011-12. By the time production finally caught up, it ended up overproducing resulting in unsold inventory, and in consequence, the $100 million writeoff.

Source: Reuters

AMD Bets on DirectX 12 for Not Just GPUs, but Also its CPUs

In an industry presentation on why the company is excited about Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 12 API, AMD revealed its most important feature that could impact on not only its graphics business, but also potentially revive its CPU business among gamers. DirectX 12 will make its debut with Windows 10, Microsoft's next big operating system, which will be given away as a free upgrade for _all_ current Windows 8 and Windows 7 users. The OS will come with a usable Start menu, and could lure gamers who stood their ground on Windows 7.

In its presentation, AMD touched upon two key features of the DirectX 12, starting with its most important, Multi-threaded command buffer recording; and Asynchronous compute scheduling/execution. A command buffer is a list of tasks for the CPU to execute, when drawing a 3D scene. There are some elements of 3D graphics that are still better suited for serial processing, and no single SIMD unit from any GPU architecture has managed to gain performance throughput parity with a modern CPU core. DirectX 11 and its predecessors are still largely single-threaded on the CPU, in the way it schedules command buffer.

AMD Announces FreeSync, Promises Fluid Displays More Affordable than G-SYNC

AMD today officially announced FreeSync, an open-standard technology that makes video and games look more fluid on PC monitors, with fluctuating frame-rates. A logical next-step to V-Sync, and analogous in function to NVIDIA's proprietary G-SYNC technology, FreeSync is a dynamic display refresh-rate technology that lets monitors sync their refresh-rate to the frame-rate the GPU is able to put out, resulting in a fluid display output.

FreeSync is an evolution of V-Sync, a feature that syncs the frame-rate of the GPU to the display's refresh-rate, to prevent "frame tearing," when the frame-rate is higher than refresh-rate; but it is known to cause input-lag and stutter when the GPU is not able to keep up with refresh-rate. FreeSync works on both ends of the cable, keeping refresh-rate and frame-rates in sync, to fight both page-tearing and input-lag.
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