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.