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AMD aims for 25-fold energy efficiency gains by 2020

AMD aims for 25-fold energy efficiency gains by 2020

AMD has announced a programme to improve the energy efficiency of its APU chips 25 times by 2020, massively outpacing its previous rate of improvement.

AMD has announced a programme to increase the energy efficiency of its accelerated processing unit (APU) designs 25-fold by 2020, dubbed 25X20.

Announced by AMD chief technology officer Mark Papermaster late last week, the programme sets a hefty pace: in the previous six years the company has claimed a ten-fold improvement in energy efficiency, while Moore's Law - the observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the transistor density of chips doubles roughly every 18 to 24 months - suggests a trend AMD is looking to outpace by more than 70 per cent.

'Creating differentiated low-power products is a key element of our business strategy, with an attending relentless focus on energy efficiency,' claimed Papermaster at the China International Software and Service Fair keynote speech in which the project was announced. '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,' explained Dr. Jonathan Koomey, research fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University, in support of AMD's efforts. '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,' Koomey added. '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.'

AMD hopes to achieve its goals through active real-time power management and optimisation technologies, new advances in its Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), and the implementation of numerous technologies currently on the lab bench including inter-frame power-gating, per-part adaptive voltage, voltage islands, and highly-integrated chip designs. Details surrounding the company's plans can be found in a white paper commissioned by AMD and produced by TIRIAS Research, available for download at the official website.

8 Comments

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Corky42 23rd June 2014, 11:15 Quote
I know energy efficiency doesn't equal energy used, but why can't i shake the idea that AMD APU's are going to be running on nothing but air :)
rollo 23rd June 2014, 20:09 Quote
Got a feeling they wont exist by 2020 in truth. The whole APU band waggon will require a new games console every 3-4 years to really be sustainable.

Long term the xbox one and ps4 are both money sinks for AMD as they will still need to make that APU for Sony and Microsoft as long as the console is on sale which will be 6-10 years id guess. Ps3 / Xbox 360 is still on sale after all with games still been launched. Nvidia loses money on those older consoles having to keep manufacturing the chips that they require.
ssj12 23rd June 2014, 21:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Nvidia loses money on those older consoles having to keep manufacturing the chips that they require.

How so? With the shrinking of the GPUs they have become way cheaper to produce meaning the Nvidia can still make a profit off selling them to Sony above manufacturing cost. It's reduced profit versus what they were making, but its still profit.
Harlequin 23rd June 2014, 21:18 Quote
AMD are already at 10x power reduction vs first gen so it`ll happen I can see :D

making money for the consoles is also a good thing , and with die shrinks coming , they`ll keep in the money with them.
Parge 23rd June 2014, 23:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Got a feeling they wont exist by 2020 in truth. The whole APU band waggon will require a new games console every 3-4 years to really be sustainable.

Long term the xbox one and ps4 are both money sinks for AMD as they will still need to make that APU for Sony and Microsoft as long as the console is on sale which will be 6-10 years id guess. Ps3 / Xbox 360 is still on sale after all with games still been launched. Nvidia loses money on those older consoles having to keep manufacturing the chips that they require.

Do you have a source for this?

Apparently Rollo loses money for every APU AMD build, but I don't have a source for that either.
sandys 24th June 2014, 00:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Got a feeling they wont exist by 2020 in truth. The whole APU band waggon will require a new games console every 3-4 years to really be sustainable.

Long term the xbox one and ps4 are both money sinks for AMD as they will still need to make that APU for Sony and Microsoft as long as the console is on sale which will be 6-10 years id guess. Ps3 / Xbox 360 is still on sale after all with games still been launched. Nvidia loses money on those older consoles having to keep manufacturing the chips that they require.

I'd say the beauty of the architecture choice in the consoles is that the are scalable, shrinkable and all worthwhile doing for AMD as it co-exists with their mobile work and will likely be backwards compatible, AMD will likely do well here as they won't be wasting resource doing console specific chips, everything is relevant and all its customers will want more grunt, less power use and lower thermals, execute well and its all good.
TheMadDutchDude 24th June 2014, 00:48 Quote
25-fold power decrease - zero performance increase.

Sounds about right for an AMD line. :D
rollo 24th June 2014, 11:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Nvidia loses money on those older consoles having to keep manufacturing the chips that they require.

How so? With the shrinking of the GPUs they have become way cheaper to produce meaning the Nvidia can still make a profit off selling them to Sony above manufacturing cost. It's reduced profit versus what they were making, but its still profit.

Nvidia said themselves just before ps4 and Xbox one hardware announcements that they were not going to be in either. Since the ps3 has not been profitable for them as a company. That's also part of the reason that they did not want or compete for current gen consoles.

They got large amounts of cash upfront ( 50mil USD) as part of the deal with Sony. If Sony and Ms don't make cash then those supplying the parts are going to struggle. Console hardware has always been a pretty big loss leader with the hope that software would eventually break you even or more than.

AMD is banking on the whole APU system coming off and been the choice for many buyers. There problem is the best targets for such systems made by dell hp Ect do not currently offer AMD chips for sale in there products.

I did have AMD shares at one point sold them just before merger with ATI. Don't currently own a computer related share.
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