AMD Launches Adelaar GPU for Embedded Systems

The high-end GPU offers improved performance and is aimed at such applications as digital signage and medical imaging.

Advanced Micro Devices is unveiling a high-end discrete graphics card for embedded systems that is aimed at such applications as digital signage, medical imaging, commercial aerospace and the military.

AMD officials at the Embedded World 2014 show Feb. 25 unveiled the Embedded Radeon E8860 "Adelaar" GPU, which is based on the vendor's Graphics Core Next architecture and offers more than twice the performance of its predecessor while keeping the same power envelope. It supports 3D and 4K graphics and can handle highly complex parallel applications—such as weather mapping and gesture recognition—with 33 percent higher single-precision floating point capabilities at 768 GFLOPS.

The Embedded Radeon E8860 is designed to address the growing need for better graphics and greater parallel computing capabilities in embedded systems at a time when the Internet of things (IoT)—or what AMD calls Surround Computing—continues to grow.

"The demand for rich, vibrant graphics and enhanced parallel compute capabilities in embedded systems is greater than ever before, and is expected to continue to grow as we enter the Surround Computing era," Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager for AMD's Embedded Solutions unit, said in a statement. "Legacy graphics no longer meet the needs of embedded solutions for today and tomorrow."

The IoT envisions a time when vast numbers of appliances, automobile and other "things" are connected to the Internet, communicating with each other and generating enormous amounts of data. It opens up a large market for embedded systems, and AMD officials have identified the embedded space as one of several growth areas. AMD, which is looking to reduce its reliance on the PC market, wants the new growth markets—which also include low-power dense servers, ultraportable computing devices and the semi-custom business—to account for half of all revenues by 2016, up from 20 percent in 2013.

AMD not only will leverage its x86 chip-making expertise for the embedded market, but also is planning for an ARM-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) to launch later this year.

AMD expects solutions based on the E8860 GPU will begin hitting the market later this quarter from such system makers as Tech Source, Wolf Industrial Systems, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions and Quixant.