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AMD unveils new embedded roadmap for 2014 and beyond

by Mark Tyson on 10 September 2013, 12:33

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab2qz

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AMD has unveiled its plans for expansion in the embedded solutions market. This market includes such devices as; industrial controls, automation, gaming machines, thin clients, digital signage, military/aero, imaging, set-top-box and communications infrastructure. With these market targets in mind AMD has shown its roadmap and detailed the following processors; the 'Adelaar' discrete GPU, based on GCN, the x86 'Steppe Eagle'  APU SoC, the x86 'Bald Eagle' APU SoC and the ARM-Cortex A57 based 'Hierofalcon' CPU SoC.

The roadmap illustrates AMD's "ambidextrous strategy" as it becomes the first company to offer the choice of ARM or x86 SoCs. These new processors "are designed to offer improvements in performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar." This is important to AMD as the embedded market is in a growth stage now and that trend is expected to continue, by 2016 it is expected that the market for embedded processors will grow 36 per cent. Being part of this trend will help AMD transform and enjoy profitability.

The Roadmap graphic below outlines where the new range of processors will sit in the scheme of things and their estimated times of coming to market as well as their basic specifications.

click to zoom roadmap

'Bald Eagle' is the solution AMD will provide to customers requiring high performance next generation digital signage and embedded digital gaming. This APU will feature up to four Steamroller CPU cores and a power optimised Radeon GCN GPU. AMD informs us that it will also feature a flexible, configurable TDP.

'Hierofalcon' is the first 64-bit ARM-based platform from AMD "targeting embedded data center applications, communications infrastructure and industrial solutions." This part can include up to eight ARM Cortex-A57 cores and will run up to 2GHz. In addition the 'Hierofalcon' SoC is equipped with 10Gb Ethernet and PCI-Express gen-3.

'Steppe Eagle' is an evolution of the AMD Embedded G-Series APU SoC, with 'Jaguar' CPU architecture and AMD GCN graphics. This new processor improves on both the performance per watt and TDP of previous parts. 'Steppe Eagle' processors, extending beyond 2GHz, will become available in H1 2014.

'Adelaar' is the next-generation discrete AMD Embedded Radeon GPU based upon GCN. AMD informs us that this GPU "will deliver rich 3D graphics, multi-display support and support for DirectX® 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and both Windows and Linux." You can expect to see it in H1 2014 available as a multi-chip module, mobile PCI express module and on PC graphics cards. 'Adelaar' comes with an integrated 2GB of graphics memory.  



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Let's hope they have a separate roadmap for (at least)trying to catch up with Intel, otherwise the future looks bad from the innovation and competition point of view.
george1976
Let's hope they have a separate roadmap for (at least)trying to catch up with Intel, otherwise the future looks bad from the innovation and competition point of view.


It's clear that they aren't. Transitioning to the non-consumer segments means that AMD has pretty much given up chasing after Intel's consumer market. I hope that AMD doesn't give up entirely, but I'm sure it will become difficult to fight Intel even on the APU front.
They've pretty much said for definite that they aren't abandoning the consumer PC market, and don't forget that transitioning 50% of revenue to emerging and non-traditional computing market still means that they see 50% of their revenue as coming from the traditional PC and server market. I don't think they're going to bother chasing halo x86 CPU performance though: they'll stick to providing well-balanced mainstream computing solutions and pushing the envelope of what's possible with APUs. Steamroller will really be the crux of what happens to AMDs CPU segment going forward - it will determine whether the investment in bulldozer was really worth it, or if they're going to have to go through another painful grounds-up redesign of their x86 core to push more performance out of it. Either that or try to migrate Jaguar into the performance space, and I don't think Jaguar will do the clock speeds they'd need for that... ;)
For the main market, I don't see the point of going after x86 performance since many applications such as in SMEs, home and mobile are quite easily covered in terms of performance by the current lineup. Heterogenous computing seems to be AMD's vision for the future of computing and that could close the gap between AMD and Intel in overall performance.

The enthusiast side of me already knows the cost of Intel not having competition and if you want a modern day example, take the 4960X. Because AMD does not have a competitor in this price/performance bracket, Intel are quite happy to kick back and rehash old tech.

I hope AMD's console play works out and heavily multithreaded goes big, as it could well close the performance gap for FX6xxx and 8xxx processors to their Intel counterparts.
AETAaAS
The enthusiast side of me already knows the cost of Intel not having competition and if you want a modern day example, take the 4960X. Because AMD does not have a competitor in this price/performance bracket, Intel are quite happy to kick back and rehash old tech.

I hope AMD's console play works out and heavily multithreaded goes big, as it could well close the performance gap for FX6xxx and 8xxx processors to their Intel counterparts.

I hope you're right - as I'd like to replace my current six-way PhenomII with something that can turn in a decent performance against a top of the line Haswell without resort to overclocks. At the moment though, it looks like if I want that kind of "enthusiast" performance level out of the box then my rig is going to end up with an "Intel Inside" sticker on it.

On the other hand if AMD are going to be aggressive about the mobile space then perhaps that might give them enough of a steady revenue stream to "go back to the drawing board" and deliver something on the desktop side less reliance on throwing cores at the problem? Although a cynic might argue that the focus on mobile is because they realise that they've got a good shot against Intel in this area, plus Intel's lead on the desktop is too large that the moment.