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AMD launches Carrizo APUs with focus on efficiency

By Scorpus
Jun 3, 2015
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  1. amd carrizo apus radeon mobile cpu apu carrizo

    At Computex 2015, AMD has launched their new Carrizo APUs, which are primarily focused on bringing great performance to mainstream laptops at lower power consumption levels than its predecessors.

    Carrizo debuts with new 'Excavator' x86 CPU cores, which AMD claims will provide 4-15 percent better clock-for-clock performance than its predecessor, while using no more die space. AMD has reduced L2 cache from 2 MB of 1 MB per 2 core module, while doubling each core's L1 cache to 32 kB, which helped reduce power consumption by around 50% for acceptable performance levels.

    Each Carrizo APU is built on the same 28nm process as AMD's previous APUs, but despite the lack of a new process node, AMD claims Carrizo is highly optimized for operation at 15W, providing better performance than Kaveri in a similar power envelope. Carrizo also scales to 35W, again providing better performance, although AMD says that optimizations at 15W were a higher priority.

    amd carrizo apus radeon mobile cpu apu carrizo

    On the GPU side, Carrizo ships with eight GCN 1.2 compute units, delivering 512 stream processors, plus DirectX 12 and FreeSync support. AMD claims peak performance for Carrizo's GPU is 819 GFLOPS, with improved performance at both 15W and 35W compared to Kaveri, thanks partly to higher frequencies and more compute units in 15W models.

    Carrizo is also AMD's first HSA 1.0 compliant APU, and their first APU that comes with a dedicated HEVC/H.265 hardware decoding block. AMD claims that video playback power consumption has been cut in half with Carrizo, allowing users to watch videos for a significantly longer period of time on systems with similar hardware.

    amd carrizo apus radeon mobile cpu apu carrizo

    AMD hasn't revealed any specific specifications for their Carrizo parts, although it appears all models will come with four Excavator CPU cores and eight GCN 1.2 CUs. The highest-end and presumably 35W Carrizo part will see CPU cores run at up to 3.4 GHz, while the GPU will boost up to 800 MHz.

    Carrizo is primarily designed for laptops in the $400-700 range, and AMD expects systems packing their new APU to arrive near the end of June. It'll be interesting to see what systems choose Carrizo over an Intel Broadwell part, especially as AMD touts better compute performance at similar 15W power levels. However Intel has always been an OEM favorite, so AMD faces an uphill battle to get their silicon into the latest products.

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  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,149   +1,424

    With a dedicated block for x265 decoding, this should make into a very efficient mini-itx media player, if somebody makes it.
     
  3. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,917   +684

    Sorry AMD, after the issues in the past, we have basically banned AMD anything where I work, our sales team actively avoid any laptop you're in and our technical consultants actively avoid spec'ing up any server with your badge on it.

    Fear not however, once you get some decent CPU's out the gate and you can get on a better manufacturing node to lower power consumption, We will start recommending you again, Just please, PLEASE, for the love of christ, bring some good products out :)
     
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Well, they'd better get a bloody move on. The saving grace for AMD's APUs has always been graphics power, and judging by the Iris Pro 6200 (Broadwell) parts just released, that advantage is fast eroding.
    Hardware decode is nice, but the hybrid approach that Broadwell (and Nvidia for that matter) use isn't that much more intensive. A bigger issue at the present time seems a decent range of x265 encode/transcode software that leverages hardware acceleration.
    I dare say by the time all the players in the market have hardware H.265 options next year, the situation will look better, but for the moment - speaking personally, freeing up archive space on my external storage by re-encoding the source material to x265 isn't exactly a speedy operation.
     
    Burty117 likes this.
  5. Typical. AMD is trolling Intel's product release with bullshit announcement.

    Next time you announce a new product, please make sure you have engineering samples on their way to reviewers. It's ridiculous to announce something that you still don't have.
     
  6. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 494   +126

    There current puma based 15 watt chips are out benching there trinity and kavari mobile a8's, wonder how 4 excavators at 15 watts would do vs the a8-6310. I would still like to see a 45 watt a10 in the mobile market from amd, there cores need more clockspeed. My 47watt i7 stays nice and cool in a thin platform so they can do it without having have a beastly thick and heavy machine.
     

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