AMD Launches 'Carrizo' APUs for Mainstream Notebooks
The new sixth-generation A-Series chips bring significant compute and graphics performance and power efficiency to PCs, officials say.Advanced Micro Devices, which is planning to make an aggressive push back into the PC space, took a significant step in that direction with the release of the company's "Carrizo" processor. The vendor's sixth generation A-Series accelerated processing unit (APU), which was launched June 2 at the Computex 2015 show in Taiwan, is aimed at both mainstream consumer and commercial notebooks in the $400 to $700 range as well as new form factors like two-in-one systems. It delivers twice the gaming performance than competitive processors from other chip makers, according to AMD. The chips' graphics performance and battery life are double that of the current "Kaveri" processors. The x86 Carrizo chips leverage the company's new "Excavator" CPU core, a system-on-a-chip (SoC) design, the latest generation of AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture and support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) hardware decode. They also are complaint with the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 specification, which enables systems to view the GPU and CPU as a single processor and to easily move the workloads to whichever one is most needed. The 28-nanometer chips hold up to 12 cores—four Excavator CPU cores and eight GCN graphics cores—and offer all-day battery life, according to AMD. The chip is aimed at a broad array of applications, from streaming entertainment and online gaming to business computing workloads. The company said the capabilities in Carrizo will offer users a premium experience with Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.
Carrizo is part of a larger effort by AMD engineers to continue driving power efficiency in their chips. CTO Mark Papermaster last year said the company's goal is to improve energy efficiency in the processors 25-fold by 2020.