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AMD "Jaguar" Micro-architecture Takes the Fight to Atom with AVX, SSE4, Quad-Core

AMD hedged its low-power CPU bets on the "Bobcat" micro-architecture for the past two years now. Intel's Atom line of low-power chips caught up in power-efficiency, CPU performance, to an extant iGPU performance, and recent models even feature out-of-order execution. AMD unveiled its next-generation "Jaguar" low-power CPU micro-architecture for APUs in the 5W - 25W TDP range, targeting everything from tablets to entry-level notebooks, and nettops.

At its presentation at the 60th ISSC 2013 conference, AMD detailed "Jaguar," revealing a few killer features that could restore the company's competitiveness in the low-power CPU segment. To begin with, APUs with CPU cores based on this micro-architecture will be built on TSMC's 28-nanometer HKMG process. Jaguar allows for up to four x86-64 cores. The four cores, unlike Bulldozer modules, are completely independent, and only share a 2 MB L2 cache.

AMD Launches a Pair of E-Series APUs

AMD launched a pair of new E-series low-power APUs, the E2-2000, and the E1-1500. The two dual-core chips are based on the same (albeit refined) "Bobcat" micro-architecture as other E-series parts. The E2-2000 CPU cores are clocked at 1.75 GHz, with its Radeon iGPU clocked at 700 MHz; while the E1-1500 features 1.50 GHz CPU core frequency, and 529 MHz iGPU. TDP of both chips are rated at 18W, both feature 1 MB of L2 cache, 80 VLIW5 stream processors, DirectX 11 support, and UVD3 support. In addition to the higher clock speeds, the single-channel memory controller on the E2-2000 supports faster DDR3-1333 MHz, while the E1-1500 makes do with DDR3-1066 MHz. Various new devices launched at the 2013 International CES are based around the two.

APUs Make Up Nearly 75% of AMD's Processor Sales

Despite losing in market share to Intel, AMD has reason to cheer as its APU gambit is beginning to pay off. According to the latest architecture- and core count-specific sales figures for AMD given out by Mercury Research detailing Q3-2013 in context of two preceding quarters, APUs make for nearly 75% of AMD's processor sales, and the company's recently-launched "Trinity" line of desktop and mobile APUs are off to a flying start.

The most popular chips in AMD's stable are its "Bobcat" Zacate series low-power APUs, which are being built into entry-level computing devices such as netbooks, nettops, and all-in-one desktops. The chips make up 39 percent of AMD's sales in Q3, followed by another APU line, the A-Series "Trinity", which is available in desktop and mobile variants, offers a combination of a fast integrated graphics processor with up to four CPU cores, and makes up 26.1 percent of AMD's sales. AMD's A-Series "Llano" can still be bought in the market, and makes up 7.4 percent of AMD's sales in Q3.

AMD Third-Generation APUs to be Built on 28 nm Process

A leaked company roadmap slide revealed that AMD's third-generation performance APU, codenamed "Kaveri," will be built on the 28 nm silicon fabrication process. The chips will be built by Global Foundries. Kaveri combines AMD's next-generation CPU architecture codenamed "Steamroller" with Graphics CoreNext GPU architecture.

In addition to Kaveri, AMD will introduce a major update to its low-power APU lineup with "Kabini." A true successor to "Brazos," Kabini features x86-64 cores built on the energy-optimized "Jaguar" architecture (which succeeds "Bobcat," on which Brazos APUs are built). It is also mentioned that Kabini will be a true system-on-chip (SoC), with integration of the FCH chipset into the APU silicon. Such an integration could increase die size and complexity, but could also minimize the board footprint of the platform, making it possible to use the SoC in thin tablets, and COMs.

AMD's Mike Wolfe Named Transformational CIO by The Enterprise CIO Forum

AMD announced today that Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Mike Wolfe is the inaugural 2012 honoree of the Transformational CIO Award, which recognizes leading-edge CIOs. Wolfe was recognized by The Enterprise CIO Forum for his pioneering approach to the strategic use of IT to transform AMD's business by reducing costs, increasing efficiency and bolstering productivity.

Wolfe, who has overseen a significant and successful consolidation of AMD's worldwide data centers, uses AMD technology for the company's engineering development and support infrastructure, including managing cloud computing solutions running on more than 123,000 AMD Opteron processor cores.

AMD Embedded G-Series Platform Supports Windows Embedded Compact 7 Real-Time OS

AMD today announced that its AMD Embedded G-Series platform now supports Windows Embedded Compact 7, the next generation of the Windows Embedded CE real-time operating system. Windows Embedded Compact 7, paired with AMD Embedded G-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APU) is optimized to deliver feature-rich applications on small, specialized devices for industries such as medical, retail and industrial automation. This enables board, module and system OEMs, among others, to develop a wide range of applications requiring high performance and integrated graphics processing with minimal size, power and cooling constraints.

"AMD is committed to providing our customers with the broadest possible range of operating system support to help them bring devices to market quickly and cost effectively," said Buddy Broeker, director, AMD Embedded Solutions. "Seamless support for Windows Embedded Compact 7 helps ensure that AMD Embedded G-Series customers are equipped to take full advantage of the many benefits afforded via the combination of these leading technologies."

MSI L2700 (Brazos 2.0-Based) Laptop Goes on Sale, in South Korea

AMD's Brazos 2.0 platform has (quietly) hit the streets in South Korean as part of MSI's newest 11.6-inch notebook, the L2700. Seen below, MSI's mobile machine weights 1.3 kg, and features an 1366 x 768-pixel display, a 1.7 GHz E2-1800 APU (with two Bobcat x86 cores and Radeon HD 7340 graphics), 4 GB of RAM, a 64 GB solid state drive,a webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 4-in-1 card reader, a HDMI output, one USB 3.0 port, and a 6-cell battery.

The L2700 costs just about $431.

ASUS Unveils the U82U AMD-Powered Ultra-Thin Laptop

While it's certainly dedicated to the ultrabook 'cause', ASUS is not ignoring AMD's own slim mobile PC offering and is in fact prepping a new ultra thin machine powered by the E-450 APU (dual Bobcat cores @ 1.65 GHz, Radeon HD 6320 graphics).

Named U82U, ASUS' new ultra thin has a 14-inch display, 2 GB of RAM (up to 8 GB are supported), a 500 GB hard drive, two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI output, and an 8-cell battery. ASUS has yet to reveal the machine's release date or price tag.

AMD Strategy Transformation Brings Agile Delivery of Industry-Leading IP

At its annual Financial Analyst Day, AMD (NYSE: AMD) detailed a new "ambidextrous" strategy that builds on the company's long history of x86 and graphics innovation while embracing other technologies and intellectual property to deliver differentiated products.

AMD is adopting an SoC-centric roadmap designed to speed time-to-market, drive sustained execution, and enable the development of more tailored customer solutions. SoC design methodology is advantageous because it is a modular approach to processor design, leveraging best practice tools and microprocessor design flows with the ability to easily re-use IP and design blocks across a range of products.

AMD Outlines Its 2012-2013 Client Roadmap, Big Focus is on APUs

Today at its annual Financial Analyst Day, AMD has presented an updated roadmap detailing the hardware it plans to bring to the table during 2012 and 2013. For this year, the Sunnyvale-based company is preparing a processor quarter which includes the Trinity, Brazos 2.0 and Hondo APUs (accelerated processing units) and the Vishera CPU.

Set to be the main weapon in AMD's x86 arsenal, the Trinity APU (aka the 2nd gen A Series) is made on 32 nm process technology, and features DirectX 11 graphics, two/four Piledriver cores (Piledrive is said to deliver 25% better performance than the Stars cores found in Llano APUs), and a TDP that can go as low as 17 W on mobile parts. Trinity is expected to debut in Q2 and already has close to 100 design wins (more than Llano had before its release).

Epson Launches the Endeavor NP30S AMD-Powered Mini PC

Famed printer company Epson has now released in its home market (Japan) a nettop/mini PC based on AMD's Brazos platform. Known as the Endeavor NP30S, Epson's compact (20 x 154 x 173 mm) and light (760 g) system features a C-60 APU (two Bobcat cores @ 1.0 GHz, Radeon HD 6290 graphics), 2 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, six USB 2.0 ports, and a DVI output.

The Endeavor NP30S costs 29,820 yen (~ $386) and can be found here.

AMD-powered Sapphire Edge HD3 Nettop Said to Ship Next Month

After releasing two versions based on Intel Atom processors, Sapphire is now preparing an Edge HD nettop/mini PC which is based around an AMD APU (accelerated processing unit). Showcased at CES 2012, the AMD-flavored Edge HD3 is equipped with an E-450 chip (boasting two 1.65 GHz Bobcat cores and Radeon HD 6320 graphics), 4 GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive, LAN, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, D-Sub and HDMI outputs, and USB 3.0 connectivity.

Reportedly, the Edge HD3 will become available on February 1st, priced at $300.

ASUS Intros E45M1-M PRO Fusion Motherboard with AMD E-450 APU

ASUS released a new embedded micro-ATX motherboard based on AMD's Fusion "Zacate" processor platform. The new E45M1-M PRO from ASUS resembles the E35M1-M PRO, except that it's powered by the newer AMD E-450 dual-core APU. Clocked at 1.65 GHz, the E-450 combines two Bobcat architecture x86-64 cores with Radeon HD 6320 DirectX 11-compliant graphics packing 80 stream processors, and a DDR3-1333 MHz integrated memory controller. The E45M1-M PRO measures 244 x 183 mm, and makes use of all of its expansion area to provide four expansion slots: a PCI-Express 2.0 x16, a PCI-E x1, and two legacy PCI.

The board draws power from standard 24-pin ATX with 4-pin CPU power. A 3-phase VRM handles APU power, it is backed by ASUS EPU chip that works to improve energy efficiency. The APU is wired to two DDR3 DIMM slots, for single-channel DDR3 memory. A large heatsink cools both the APU and Hudson M1 chipset, optionally a fan can be attached to cool it better.

AMD's Next-Generation Wichita and Krishna APUs Detailed

In its latest presentation to industry partners, AMD detailed its upcoming Deccan low-power computing platform, targeting the market Intel's Atom and VIA's Nano processors do. AMD is currently behind the "Zacate" and "Ontario" processors, which deliver high performance/watt x86 computing at low power draw and costs. The company's future platform will be called "Deccan," consisting of processors codenamed "Wichita" and "Krishna," targeting the ULV desktop and netbook markets, respectively. With the next generation, AMD is looking to take advantage of the 28 nanometer manufacturing process to put four x86-64 cores based on the Bobcat architecture on a single piece of silicon, with an integrated memory controller and AMD Radeon discrete-class graphics.

The biggest change here isn't the fact that there are four cores, or that it's built on 28 nm, but that Wichita and Krishna are completely single-chip. The FCH or Fusion Controller Hub has been completely fused into the APU silicon. Motherboards and notebook logic boards will have just one big chip, with no "chipset" of any form. This makes AMD's Wichita and Krishna the industry's very first true x86-based consumer SoC (system on chip). The integrated memory controller now supports DDR3-1600 MHz memory. The integrated AMD Radeon graphics is set to get a performance and SIMD boost, as well, including a Secure Asset Management Unit (SAMU). AMD's next generation APUs are slated for 2012.

AMD to Claim Share of Tablet Pie with Brazos-T APU Platform

Microsoft's leap of faith into the tablet OS market which is dominated by Apple iOS and Google's Android OS, with Windows 8 operating system will be driven by two distinct hardware platforms - x86, led by Intel and its Clover Trail Atom platform, and ARM, and its swarm of client manufacturers such as Samsung, Qualcomm, etc. The third player out to claim its share of the pie is AMD, with its Brazos-T platform. Similar to Intel's Clover Trail, Brazos-T is an x86-based platform, it uses an ultra-low power accelerated processing unit (APU), codenamed "Hondo".

Hondo is a low-wattage, low-footprint APU that packs two x86-64 "Bobcat" architecture cores, an AMD Radeon HD 6250 DirectX 11 compliant graphics core, single-channel DDR3 IMC, and integrated PCI-Express. Like Clover Trail, it is a 2-chip solution, with the other chip being the "Hudson" M2T chipset, which provides an array of display connectivity options, SATA and USB connectivity. The key feature with Hondo APU is its low power consumption of just 2W, and TDP of 4.5W. The chipset is designed to consume just 1W. Both the APU and chipset are built on the 40 nm process. The platform is slated for Q2 2012, just in time for Windows 8 tablets to hit the market.

New AMD Embedded G-Series APUs Provide 39% Power Reduction for Fanless Designs

AMD today announced immediate availability of two new AMD Embedded G-Series APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) with thermal design power (TDP) ratings of 5.5 and 6.4 watts, up to a 39 percent power savings compared to earlier versions1. The very low power consumption and small 361mm² package is ideal for compact, fanless embedded systems like digital signage, kiosks, mobile industrial devices and many of the new emerging industry-standard small form factors such as Qseven. This is an unprecedented low-power offering for the embedded market that features one or two low-power x86 "Bobcat" CPU cores and a discreet class DirectX 11-capable GPU on a single die.

"We have seen many of our embedded customers deploy fanless systems even with our 15W TDP processors in the past. Today we take the ground-breaking AMD Fusion APU well below 7W TDP and shatter the accepted traditional threshold for across-the-board fanless enablement," said Buddy Broeker, director, Embedded Solutions, AMD. "System designers can now unleash their creativity without being constrained by heat or size issues."

AMD C-60 Gets TurboCore to CPU and GPU

AMD is giving its C-series Fusion APUs for netbooks and embedded systems a feature update with its upcoming model, the C-60. The AMD C-60 will have the same default clock speed as the C-50, at 1.00 GHz, but features the AMD TurboCore technology, which can up clock speed to 1.3 GHz when the two cores are loaded. The embedded Radeon GPU also features GPU TurboCore, which boosts engine speed from 276 MHz to 400 MHz. The new dual-core C-60 does all this, while limiting itself to the 9W TDP. AMD will release the new C-60 APU in Q3, 2011.

AMD Delivers the World's First and Only APU for Embedded Systems

AMD today announced immediate availability of the new AMD Embedded G-Series processor, the world's first and only Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) for embedded systems. The AMD Embedded G-Series, based on AMD Fusion technology, delivers a complete, full-featured embedded platform and incorporates the new low-power, x86 CPU based on the "Bobcat" core with a world-class DirectX 11-capable GPU and parallel processing engine on a single piece of silicon.

"AMD's commitment is to ensure the game-changing technologies we develop for consumers and the enterprise are also available for the vast and growing embedded market," said Patrick Patla, corporate vice president and general manager, Server and Embedded Division, AMD. "Today, we have a record number of embedded launch partners. They are using the unique advancements of the AMD Embedded G-Series APU to develop a brand new generation of highly differentiated, energy-efficient, small form-factor embedded systems that can deliver the vivid visual experience expected in our always-connected world."

ASUS Unveils First Micro-ATX AMD ''Brazos'' Fusion E-350 Motherboard

At a time when everyone including ASUS is cramming the AMD Fusion E-350 APU into netbooks and mini-ITX motherboards to get rid of Atom; the motherboard major saw "bigger" prospects for the E-350, and designed a micro-ATX motherboard based on it. The E35M1-M Pro from ASUS uses AMD Fusion E-350 APU that embeds a dual-core x86-64 processor based on the "Bobcat" architecture with an AMD Radeon HD 6310 DirectX 11 compliant GPU. The processor is backed by the brand new Hudson M1 single-package chipset. The E35M1-M Pro is intended for everything from office PCs to home PCs, and HTPCs. It draws power from conventional 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors, and uses a 3+1 phase VRM.

The CPU and chipset share a heatsink. The CPU is wired to two DDR3 DIMM slots. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, one PCI-E x1, and two PCI slots. Storage expansion includes five internal SATA 6 Gb/s and one eSATA 6 Gb/s. Connectivity includes 6-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, 7.1 channel audio over HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports, FireWire, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. ASUS added a bunch of exclusive features that can let you squeeze out the most performance, and manage power consumption.

MSI Unveils its First AMD Brazos Mini-ITX Motherboard, E350IA-E45

MSI is ready with its motherboard based on the AMD Fusion "Brazos" platform. The motherboard major announced E350IA-E45, its first motherboard based on the platform in mini-ITX form-factor. It is intended for use on most entry-thru-mid range desktop PCs, office PCs, and HTPCs. At the heart of it is the AMD Fusion E-350 dual-core processor based on the "Bobcat" architecture. It embeds an AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics processor that is DirectX 11 compliant. The processor is aided by Hudson M1 single-chip chipset.

The processor is wired to two DDR3 DIMM slots and supports up to 8 GB of memory in x86-64 mode. It is powered by a 3+1 phase VRM. The lone expansion slot is a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical 2.0 x4). The chipset gives out four SATA 6 Gb/s ports supporting high-speed SSDs and HDDs. Connectivity is aplenty: 8+2 channel HD audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF connectors, two USB 3.0 ports, ten USB 2.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, and PS/2 mouse/keyboard combo connector. Display connectivity includes D-Sub and HDMI 1.4a. The MSI E350IA-E45 will ship toward late January or early February.

AMD Announces Beginning of Fusion APU Era

Today at the Consumer Electronics Show, AMD launched a new class of accelerated processor that combines more compute capabilities than any processor in the history of computing. The AMD Fusion Family of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) incorporate - in a single die design - multi-core CPU (x86) technology, a powerful DirectX 11-capable discrete-level graphics and parallel processing engine, a dedicated high-definition video acceleration block, and a high-speed bus that speeds data across the differing types of processor cores within the design. New generations of desktop, notebook and HD netbooks are now available based on AMD Fusion APUs at affordable price points. Tablets and embedded designs based on AMD Fusion APUs are expected be available later in Q1 2011. The new range of products features include stutter-free HD video playback, breakthroughs in computational horsepower to handle the most demanding applications, DirectX 11-capable graphics and all-day battery life.

Acer Readies AMD Fusion ''Brazos'' Powered Aspire One Netbook

Acer will be one of the first adopters of AMD's "Brazos" Fusion platform for its netbooks. The company is developing a new 10-inch Aspire One model, the Aspire One 522, which makes use of AMD Fusion C-50 "Ontario" dual-core processor clocked at 1.00 GHz, with TDP of under 9W, and AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics embedded. The x86-64 processor cores are based on the "Bobcat" architecture, feature the latest instruction sets, while the graphics core supports DirectX 11 and UVD 3.0 video acceleration.

The 10.1-inch screen features a native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, which can be extended onto a HDTV or a monitor using HDMI. Most other features including connectivity are similar to existing Aspire One netbooks. The battery can provide 6 hours of usage on full charge. Acer is expected to unveil this powerful netbook in early 2011.

AMD Details a Vivid Future of Computing at Annual Financial Analyst Day

At its annual Financial Analyst Day, AMD (NYSE: AMD) demonstrated how its unique combination of CPU and GPU computing technologies on a single die will enable breakthrough capabilities in an innovative processor design with planned OEM system availability in early 2011. AMD executives detailed how this new class of processor, AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), is poised to create a sustained position of advantage by powering demanding PC workloads in sleek form factors with long battery life, pacing future AMD growth. AMD Fusion APUs are built from DirectX 11-capable GPU technology and either low-power or high-performance multi-core x86 CPU technology. These APUs are designed to vastly improve today's Internet, video processing and playback, and gaming (client and online) experiences. For the first time, AMD also demonstrated its new high-performance x86 multi-core CPU architecture codenamed "Bulldozer" and provided additional information around the "Bulldozer" launch schedule.

AMD Reports Third Quarter Results

AMD today announced revenue for the third quarter of 2010 of $1.62 billion, a net loss of $118 million, or $0.17 per share, and operating income of $128 million. The company reported non-GAAP net income of $108 million, or $0.15 per share, and non-GAAP operating income of $144 million.

"AMD's third quarter performance was highlighted by solid gross margin and a continued focus on profitability, despite weaker than expected consumer demand," said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO. "Our strategy to deliver platforms with superior visual experiences continues to resonate. We look forward to building on this momentum when we begin shipping our first AMD Fusion Accelerated Processor Units later this quarter."

AMD Readies Two Fusion ''Zacate'' Models for Q1 2011

At least two new Fusion APU models based on the "Zacate" silicon are slated for Q1 2011. The Fusion "Zacate" processors are meant for ultra-portables, nettops, and SFF PCs, with a small TDP of 18W, an even lower-power version codenamed "Ontario" is being worked on, with a TDP of 9W. The first two Zacate chips include Fusion E240 single-core, and Fusion E350 dual-core. These chips are based on the Bobcat architecture, and pack DirectX 11 compliant IGPs with UVD 3.0, a single-channel DDR3 memory controller. The platform release will include the supportive Hudson D1 chipset.
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