AMD Makes Commercial PC Push with New Pro A-Series APUs
AMD’s new Pro A12 notebook processor has a maximum speed of 3.4GHz and 12 compute cores (four CPU and eight Radeon R7 GPUs). The chip offers performance improvements of 31 percent in graphics, 18 percent in multi-threaded workloads and 19 percent in compute. Those respective metrics hit 66 percent, 50 percent and 50 percent in performance-per-watt, the company said. The chips come with a 36-month OEM warranty and an 18-month image stability guarantee. They support the DASH (Desktop and Mobile Architecture for System Hardware) management open standard. AMD offers software for small businesses. In addition, AMD said it has ramped up the security in the chips through the AMD Secure Processor. Through the dedicated core, the ARM TrustZone secure environment can run on top of the hardware to create a place for running sensitive workloads. The company plans to implement the ARM TrustZone technology in every product going forward, according to Diane Stapley, director of alliances. HP has used the Pro A-Series APUs in a number of its EliteBook business notebooks, and on Sept. 29 introduced the EliteBook 705 G3 series based on the latest APUs and offering displays ranging from 12.5 to 15.6 inches. Lenovo also uses the processors."We tell [business customers], 'You have a budget to spend, and you can get more with AMD,'" Hampton said in an interview with eWEEK. The pitch "is translating into wins." Rob Enderle, principal analyst with The Enderle Group, said the challenge for AMD is getting its message out to the business community. For example, during the Sunnyvale event, AMD executives were aggressive in talking about security capabilities and the plan to use those capabilities across all products. This is something that could be attractive to business users, Enderle told eWEEK. "The numbers show that when they get their message out, they do well," he said. "They just don’t have the scale [in marketing] that Intel has."
AMD officials are expecting that business users will see the company as a lower-cost alternative to Intel processors.