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AMD unveils new APUs, SoCs and Radeon HD 8000 Series

AMD unveils new APUs, SoCs and Radeon HD 8000 Series

AMD's CES presentation was heavily APU-focused, although the company also announced OEM availability of desktop Radeon HD 8000 Series GPUs.

UPDATE: The Richland APUs are likely to be 32nm parts, not 28nm as indicated in an earlier draft of this article.

AMD's Consumer Electronics Show presentations this year have been dominated by one initialism, with the company showing off a raft of new Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) as it looks to steal a little market share from Intel in the desktop and laptop and ARM in the tablet spaces.

AMD's announcements covered four product codenames within the APU family: Kabini, Richland, Kaveri and Temash. First, Kabini: designed for ultra-thin notebooks - Intel's Ultrabook segment, in other words - the chips are claimed to offer twice the compute performance of current-generation Brazos 2.0 APUs without sacrificing battery life through the use of new Jaguar processing cores and a true system-on-chip (SoC) design. Firm figures are not yet available, but AMD has confirmed that Kabini will launch in dual- and quad-core flavours.

Richland, meanwhile, is a family of APUs that have started shipping this year to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking to build more traditional laptops and desktops. With a claimed performance boost of 20 to 40 per cent over previous-generation APUs, there's a fair bit of spare power available to the system - and AMD is making full use of that by planning to bundle gesture- and facial-recognition software with Richland-based systems. A follow-up chip family, Kaveri, has been confirmed as launching in the second half of the year, boosting performance still further and adding new heterogeneous systems architecture (HSA) features at a 28nm process node.

Temash, finally, is designed to sit at the very top of AMD's mobile-centric APU line-up. Claimed to be the highest-performance system-on-chip design for tablets, Temash replaces Hondo with double the graphics performance of its predecessor. As with Kabini, itself another true system-on-chip (SoC) design, Temash is expected to launch in dual- and quad-core flavours.

The first of these chips to launch will be the AMD A10-6800K, and while firm figures are not yet available preliminary figures point to the chip boasting a quad-core design based on a 32nm process with updated Piledriver cores, heterogeneous systems architecture (HSA) improvements and the rumoured possibility of second-generation Graphics Core Next (GCN)-based Radeon HD 8000 integrated graphics in the same 100W thermal design profile (TDP) as its Trinity-based A10-5800K predecessor. A June retail launch is expected, but not yet confirmed by AMD.

AMD also announced the Radeon HD 8000 family of graphics processors, previously confirmed for laptops and now officially available to OEMs for use in desktop systems as the Radeon HD 8000 Series. Official specifications for the Radeon HD 8700M & 8800M and Radeon HD 8500M & 8600M mobile GPUS and Radeon HD 8000 Series desktop GPUs have now been published, pointing towards a series that tops out with the AMD Radeon HD 8970: a 1GHz (1.05GHz boost) GPU teamed with 3GB of GDDR5 memory on a 1.5GHz clock offering 288GB/s bandwidth, 2,048 stream processors across 32 compute units for 4.3 teraflops of single-precision compute and 1.07 teraflops of double-precision compute, 128 texture units, 128 Z/stencil ROP units, and 32 colour ROP units on a PCI Express 3.0 x16 interface.

Sadly, AMD has been quiet on firm retail availability and pricing for any of its announced products - but to keep you amused while we wait for more information, here's AMD demonstrating the benefits of the gesture-based computing software it plans to bundle with the Richland-generation APUs.

21 Comments

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Baz 8th January 2013, 12:53 Quote
We should make clear, the 8-series parts are just 7-series re-brands, so 7970 owners, do not fret! This also means we wont be publishing any reviews of these parts.
Parge 8th January 2013, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
We should make clear, the 8-series parts are just 7-series re-brands, so 7970 owners, do not fret! This also means we wont be publishing any reviews of these parts.

I can see why they sometimes rebrand old parts that fit well (usually at a lower price) into a new series, but why launch an entire line of rebranded parts?

Doesn't make any sense.
Burnout21 8th January 2013, 13:08 Quote
ooo could these be going into the Xi3 piston platform for the steam console?
V3ctor 8th January 2013, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
We should make clear, the 8-series parts are just 7-series re-brands, so 7970 owners, do not fret! This also means we wont be publishing any reviews of these parts.

Wow... that's... lame... I didn't even like rebrands in the mainstream, but now they are doing it at the top of their line?
They should just keep the HD7970 name, I don't mind seeing the same name for 2 years...
SchizoFrog 8th January 2013, 14:24 Quote
Anyone else think that the video for Win8 Gesture Control makes it look sluggish and retarded?
Griffter 8th January 2013, 14:31 Quote
if bit-tech can include black mesa, a rebranded old HL1 game , on the game the the yrs list, then what amd is doing is just dandy also.
Parge 8th January 2013, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Anyone else think that the video for Win8 Gesture Control makes it look sluggish and retarded?


Soooo sluggish.
Gravebond 8th January 2013, 14:43 Quote
I really want AMD to focus on the development of their APU chips and am glad to hear the news regarding this. I recently built a system for my gf costing £350 that included the A10 5800k , 2133mhz Ram x8gb on a Mini-itx MSI motherboard. At 720p she can play much of the steam catalogue at high settings and i am really really impressed. Due to the size and low power requirements i was able to use a tiny case. If they continue in this direction (which i hope they do) i think AMD should partner with a company like Asus to make specially featured ITX or smaller mobo's. It seems to me that the size of enthusiast PC's are still the same size as they have been for decades, but if more focus is put on changing this then some really desireable systems/ tech could come to light
Jedra 8th January 2013, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnout21
ooo could these be going into the Xi3 piston platform for the steam console?

In case it hasn't been mentioned elsewhere (can't find it). Here are a couple of links relating to the valve announcement...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20949071

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/xi3-and-valve-to-unveil-new-product-at-ces-2013---an-xi3-development-stage-computer-game-system-optimized-for-steam-gameplay-in-big-picture-mode-185945182.html
Baz 8th January 2013, 15:48 Quote
Quote:

We've not mentioned it because Valve and Xi3 haven't confirmed anything.
jrs77 8th January 2013, 15:56 Quote
Hmm... The A10-6800k is still on the 28nm process and still a t the 100W TDP. Seems like intel will be ahead of AMD for quiet a while to come.

I couldn't care less about the GPUs aswell, so I'm sticking with the mid-level intel + nVidia for the next two years to come I guess, but I don't think I need to upgrade within the next two years anyways.
Marvin-HHGTTG 8th January 2013, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
We should make clear, the 8-series parts are just 7-series re-brands, so 7970 owners, do not fret! This also means we wont be publishing any reviews of these parts.

To be fair it's only an OEM rebrand, consumer products will still be 7xxx series. Basically as product refreshes get less common (longer development cycles from everyone), system builders have nothing new to sell, so request new-sounding parts to justify refreshes or re-releases.

This has been the case in all camps for a while now, though Intel's refresh cycle is currently fast enough for this not to be an issue.
loftie 8th January 2013, 17:24 Quote
So since the 8000 series will be for OEMs and will just be rebranded 7000s, I wonder if that means they'll just skip to 9000s for their actual new GPUs or make up some new numbers in the 8000 range just to confuse the crap out of people more.

Any news on new GPUs?
VaLkyR-Assassin 8th January 2013, 23:38 Quote
How disappointing. I thought there would be 'brand new' releases for retail :/
Chicken76 8th January 2013, 23:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Hmm... The A10-6800k is still on the 28nm process and still a t the 100W TDP. Seems like intel will be ahead of AMD for quiet a while to come.
The current generation of APUs (Trinity) is produced using a 32 nm process, so Richland will be quite an upgrade, considering they will retain the 100W TDP after shrinking to 28nm. The CPU cores will use less power and/or will probably run at a higher frequency, and the GPU is GCN-based, as opposed to VLIW4 in Trinity.
fix-the-spade 8th January 2013, 23:59 Quote
Well, if they're going to hawk re-names, I'll just stand there and tell people the AMD 8800 cards are licence built versions of Nvidia 8800s from 2006.
Someone will believe it...
Adnoctum 9th January 2013, 00:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
The first of these chips to launch will be the AMD A10-6800K, and while firm figures are not yet available preliminary figures point to the chip boasting a quad-core design based on a 28nm process with. . .

"Richland" is 32nm. The follow-on "Kaveri" will be 28nm.

Proof 1 - See in the following image from the presentation, "Richland" is shown as being 32nm, the same as "Trinity".
Proof 2 - AMD says that "Richland" is "currently shipping to OEMs", which means that it has been in production for quite a few months for the wafer to be started and baked, the die packaged, and the finished APU sent to OEMs. It isn't being made at TSMC and GloFo 28nm isn't ready for production. Therefore, logically, it is 32nm.

If "Richland" is A10-6800K, then it is 32nm. If it isn't, then A10-6800K isn't "Richland".
Everyone saying 28nm has been referencing Fudzilla. He seems to be wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken76
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Hmm... The A10-6800k is still on the 28nm process and still a t the 100W TDP. Seems like intel will be ahead of AMD for quiet a while to come.
The current generation of APUs (Trinity) is produced using a 32 nm process, so Richland will be quite an upgrade, considering they will retain the 100W TDP after shrinking to 28nm. The CPU cores will use less power and/or will probably run at a higher frequency, and the GPU is GCN-based, as opposed to VLIW4 in Trinity.

If "Richland" is 32nm (see above) and shipping now, it means Piledriver cores and VLIW4 graphics. It is just Piledriver with enhancements.
No Steamroller and no GCN. More Fudzilla-branded FUD.
Gareth Halfacree 9th January 2013, 00:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
"Richland" is 32nm. The follow-on "Kaveri" will be 28nm. [...] If "Richland" is A10-6800K, then it is 32nm. If it isn't, then A10-6800K isn't "Richland".
You're quite right - I was going from the CPU-World entry linked in the article, which claims 28nm - but your evidence clearly points to a 32nm part. I'll correct the article - thanks for the heads-up!
Adnoctum 9th January 2013, 01:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
You're quite right - I was going from the CPU-World entry linked in the article, which claims 28nm - but your evidence clearly points to a 32nm part. I'll correct the article - thanks for the heads-up!

. . .which got their information from (I think you can guess!) Fudzilla.

Who is also claiming GCN for the core. I'd be really careful with claiming that, because "Richland" is looking like a refined "Trinity" rather than a new core, with the claimed performance increase possibly due to a larger/higher clocked GPU rather than a new GPU.
I would be very surprised at GCN showing up so soon.

EDIT: A bit of hunting and I found the 2013 Client Roadmap (PDF) on the AMD website.
"Richland" is 32nm with 2-4 Piledriver cores and "2nd Generation DX11 GPU", which is as far as I can count is VLIW4 (VLIW5 being the 1st and GCN being the 3rd). Three versions: desktop, notebook (35w) and Low Voltage (17-25w).
This close to release, if it was GCN it would say GCN, as it does for the 28nm Kaveri, Kabini and Temash APUs.
fluxtatic 9th January 2013, 07:55 Quote
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Hondo's problem was the weak-ass processor, rather than the graphics? Now that I think about it, I could well be remembering wrong, since I heard nothing about other than the announcement that it was being released.

Personally, about the only thing interesting to me is Jaguar update of Brazos - I'm running an E350 as a home server and will be putting a car pc in next summer based on another. Not bad for what it is (and what they cost), but a little more grunt would be appreciated.
Metaporic 9th January 2013, 09:58 Quote
In reference to the 8000 series, it seems that these re-badged cards are exclusively for OEM's, sort of like Nvidia did with the 100 and 300 series . The actual Sea Islands cards that where due this year wont hit retail for another few months and include the performance boosts etc. that we have been expecting.

http://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-hd-8000-gpus-oems-radeon-hd-7000-rebrands/

At least that's my understanding of the situation, AMD should have really done something regarding the naming however. I'm guessing AMD will just skip to calling Sea Islands the 9000 series, or confuse the matter by running two parallel 8000 series at once.
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