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AMD plans to deliver 25x APU efficiency gains in next six years

by Mark Tyson on 20 June 2014, 11:17


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AMD's Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster took to the stage at the China International Software and Information Service Fair (CISIS) yesterday to announce that the chipmaker plans a 25 fold increase in the efficiency of its APUs by the year 2020.

The new plan, looking forward six years, represents a doubling in ambitions compared to AMD's history of the preceding six years. From 2008 until 2014 it is said that AMD has managed to improve the typical energy efficiency of its mobile processors by more than 10x. The goal to deliver a 25x increase in the next six years therefore represents a significant stride. The plan has been given the catchy moniker of the '25X20 target'.

Papermaster told the conference crowds in Dalian, China, "Creating differentiated low-power products is a key element of our business strategy, with an attending relentless focus on energy efficiency." He went on to say the technology which is expected to help reap these energy savings would be based upon "APU architectural enhancements and intelligent power efficient techniques".

Another big AMD initiative, which is propelling chip power optimisation, is the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA). This combination of CPU, GPU and other accelerators such as DSPs and video encoders on the same chip "saves energy by eliminating connections between discrete chips, reduces computing cycles by treating the CPU and GPU as peers, and enables the seamless shift of computing workloads to the optimal processing component," explains AMD.

These power efficient APUs are not just destined for PC, as we focus upon at HEXUS, but they will be deployed in mobile computing and enterprise offering substantially improved battery life and electricity bill reductions respectively. AMD APUs are also starting to appear in embedded and semi-custom designs like games consoles.

HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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What now takes 250W you will be able to do in 10W? That doesn't make sense.

What you can now do in 2.5W you will be able to do in 100mW? Maybe, but with the backlight on who much cares.
Well it's a fairly ambiguous claim - if they're referring to platform power, the industry has already made some significant improvements there over the past few years but there's still some room to go, especially on the desktop where power efficiency seems to be an afterthought at best on a lot of motherboards.

They could also be talking about specific areas like media, where hardware/GPU/DSP processing can be massively more efficient than CPU processing - the 2.5W to 100mW is already possible with stuff like video codecs, moving from software to dedicated logic. This sort of thing would tie into the HSA direction - maybe we'll see more of the sort of stuff we're used to seeing in mobile ARM SoCs start to appear in desktop/laptop processors?
“AMD has managed to improve the typical energy efficiency of its mobile processors by more than 10x”

It looks like their target will be 2.5x its current efficiency (as they are already on 10x - to make 25x total)
..i guess it means that the ratio of the (CPU x performance + the Gpu x performance)/watt will be bigger by 25 times,so cpu maybe +10% + gpu y% total divided by the power consumed will have that effect and maybe twice than ARMS and Intels at that level.Thats what i understood form the sentence.
Also got to remember Moore's law means you're in effect doubling the transistor count every two years anyway - or at least the competition will be. So you in effect are going to get a X8 performance boost IF power draw stays constant. So really they're talking about dropping power to 1/3 of current levels - then multiply that 1/3 by 8 to get 24X, if you see what I mean. Yes, it is back of envvelope maths.