New AMD Embedded Processors Aimed at 4K Video Uses

Designed for high-end embedded requirements, the new processors incorporate AMD's newest 64-bit x86 CPU core, called "Excavator."

AMD Embedded Processor

AMD on Oct. 21 put forth a new embedded processor line that is sort of versatile, to say the least: It can run everything from medical imaging applications to 4K video slot machines -- and plenty of other things in between.

The Gen 2 R-series chips, introduced at a media event in San Francisco, also can be used for portable ultrasound devices, video arcade machines, digital and retail signage, media storage and communications and networking -- among many other use cases.

Designed for high-end embedded requirements, the new processors incorporate AMD's newest 64-bit x86 CPU core -- called "Excavator" -- plus third-generation Graphics Core Next GPU architecture, along with its best power management for reduced energy consumption, the company said.

AMD said that the R-series single-chip system-on-chip architecture fills requirements for simplified, small-form factor board and system designs used by many AMD customers and third-party development platform providers.

Here are some of the key specs:

--AMD claims that this is the first embedded processor with dual-channel 64-bit DDR4 or DDR3 with Error-Correction Code (ECC), with speeds up to DDR4-2400 and DDR3-2133, and support for 1.2V DDR4 and 1.5V/1.35V DDR3;

--Dedicated AMD Secure Processor (an ARM core that runs independent of the x86 processor for system integrity purposes) that supports secure boot with AMD Hardware Validated Boot; initiates trusted boot environment before starting x86 cores;

--High-performance Integrated FCH featuring PCIe Gen3 USB3.0, SATA3, SD, GPIO, SPI, I2S, I2C, UART.

--AMD said the Embedded R-Series SOC provides 10-year longevity. The processors support Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Embedded 7 and 8 Standard, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and AMD's all-open Linux driver, including Mentor Embedded Linux from Mentor Graphics and their Sourcery CodeBench IDE development tools.

--Contains a suite of peripheral support and interface options, including high-end AMD Radeon graphics, the industry's first Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 certification, and support for the latest DDR4 memory. Specs for Radeon graphics include: up to eight compute units and two rendering blocks; GPU clock speeds up to 800MHz, resulting in 819 GFLOPS
DirectX 12 support.

--Features enhanced GPU performance and support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) for full 4K decode and DirectX 12.

The new chips became generally available worldwide on Oct. 21.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...