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AMD unveils 28nm mobile x86 processors

Posted: 15 Nov 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:x86  mobile SoC  tablets  notebook 

At this week's APU13 Developer Conference, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) promised to deliver significant performance and battery life improvement for mobile devices such as fanless tablets and ultrathin notebooks with the roll out of its 2014 mobile Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) product roadmap.

Two new 28nm mobile x86 processors using a new ARM-based security block were unveiled, including a 2W tablet SoC. The chips, shipping before July, will double the performance/watt of the company's prior notebook and tablet offerings, AMD said.

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Both chips pack two to four AMD Puma x86 cores, Radeon graphics cores and an ARM Cortex-A5 security block supporting ARM's TrustZone hardware-backed security. The Radeon R9 270 graphics card is further enhanced by Mantle, a technology developed by AMD to enable game developers to harness the GCN-powered cores of both PCs and consoles. The Beema notebook SoC comes in versions running at 10-25W, while the Mullins tablet chip draws about 2W, AMD said.

The chips target Windows 8.1 notebooks and tablets, supporting the OS's new InstantGo fast wake-time feature. The SoCs "will outperform the competition in graphics and total compute performance in fanless tablets, 2-in-1s and ultrathin notebooks," said Mark Papermaster, AMD's chief technology officer in a keynote at AMD's annual developer conference.

The new chips do not natively support Google's Android or Chrome OS environment for tablets and notebooks. "We have an emulated solution on the AMD AppZone now as part of our relationship with BlueStacks, and we plan to have news at CES that takes the partnership to the next level," said an AMD spokesman.

The new chips were announced two days after AMD announced Kaveri, its first SoC supporting the HSA Foundation technologies for letting CPU and GPU blocks on an SoC share resources for greater efficiency. The two new chips do not support the HSA features.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times

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