AMD Unveils Trinity-Based Embedded APUs

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2012-05-21

Advanced Micro Devices officials are bringing their new Trinity chip offerings to embedded systems.

The company on May 21 announced the Embedded R-Series accelerated processing units (APUs), based on the Trinity chips introduced earlier this month. The new Trinity APUs, which offer integrated x86 CPUs and discrete-level graphics capabilities, are the second generation of the APU push that AMD first introduced in January 2011.

Up to eight APUs will be offered in the Embedded R-Series lineup, with the chips offering as many as four chip cores and 384 graphics cores. The chip cores will be based on AMD€™s latest Piledriver core architecture.

The APUs also will carry AMD€™s Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics chips, which support DirectX 11 for improved multimedia capabilities. Some versions of the chip come with PCI Express Gen 2 support.

"AMD pioneered the embedded APU to offer our customers a high-performance, power-efficient, small-form-factor embedded processor," Buddy Broeker, director of AMD€™s Embedded Solutions unit, said in a statement. "By leveraging its seamlessly integrated heterogeneous system architecture, developers can tap into a high-performance and efficient parallel-processing engine to accelerate their graphics- and compute-intensive applications, all while using industry-standard libraries such as OpenCL and DirectCompute."

AMD officials have outlined a host of areas that can leverage the new embedded chips, from smart cameras and medical systems, to video conferencing, digital signage and point-of-sale machines.

In a May 21 post on AMD€™s blog site, Cameron Swen, manager of embedded marketing at AMD, said the new Series-R chips help system designers solve the issues of power consumption when trying to ramp up performance.

€œNew processing solutions based on heterogeneous architectures are emerging that enable low-power designers to significantly increase their system performance without adding significant cost or power to the system,€ Swen wrote. €œHeterogeneous processing itself isn€™t new, but what makes these solutions different are the open and royalty-free programming standards for general-purpose computations on heterogeneous systems that are developing around them, such as OpenCL. Using standards like OpenCL helps programmers preserve their expensive source-code investment and easily target and port code between multi-core CPUs, GPUs and new APUs, which combine both x86 processing cores and graphics-processing units on a single die.€

AMD last year launched the Embedded G-Series platform, which offers power envelopes of 5.5 to 18 watts, addresses the needs of very low-power applications, he said. In comparison, the new Embedded R-Series consume 17 to 35 watts, a good complement to the G-Series, Swen wrote.

€œSo now there are more options available to help you find that ideal balance between performance and power consumption,€ he wrote.

AMD announced that a number of system makers€”including Advantech-Innocore, Axiomtek, Congatec, iBase, Quixant and iBase€”have said they will use the new R-Series in their systems.

AMD officials are aggressively ramping up their second-generation APUs, having unveiled on May 15 the new Trinity A-Series chips aimed at notebooks, ultrathin laptops and desktops.


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