AMD announced new versions of its APU series called Richland and gave the first public demonstration of its upcoming Kaveri processor at its Computex 2013 keynote Wednesday morning in Taipei.
AMD’s APU efforts began in 2011 with the launch of Llano, which was followed up with Trinity’s launch around this time last year. Richland is the successor to Trinity, and will be followed up by Kaveri which is expected sometime early next year.
“AMD invented the APU. The APU is really the future of computing,” said AMD’s Lisa Su, the company’s second-in-command, on stage at Computex.
“Our competitor is following and the truth is they will continue to follow,” she continued referring to yesterday’s launch of Intel’s Haswell — arguably an APU by any other name.
On stage Dr. Su said that Richland has a vastly improved 3DMark Fire Strike benchmarking score, pushing a 21% performance increase over Trinity. She said that Richland will provide 779GFLOPs of GPU compute performance using the company’s Radeon 8000 GPU and CPU clock speeds of up to 4.4GHz.
Dr. Su said on stage that Richland will be on par with Intel’s Haswell Core i5 4670K and 4430 processors in productivity applications and will offer substantially better — up to a 50% performance premium she claimed.
Richland will be compatible with the FM2 socket.
Kaveri in the House
The second act of AMD’s keynote was the first public showing of the Kaverni APU. Kaveri is notable because it will be AMD’s first platform to support its heterogeneous, unified memory architecture (read about hUMA here) which promises massive performance increases since it creates an easy bridge between CPU and GPU.
AMD was scant on details on Kaveri (as that’s expected later this year) but did show a demo of the new Devil May Cry apparently running on a Kaveri platform. AMD expects to begin shipping Kaveri towards the end of the year.
Better business through more IP
One of AMD’s more impressive coups over the past year-and-a-half has been to push its IP onto next-generation game consoles, the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One.
As the gaming industry tends to focus on consoles first, PCs second, this puts AMD in an interesting position. Though NVIDIA might sell more cards, AMD will be able to dictate standards on console platforms and watch them trickle down to the PC gaming sector. An example of this could be found in TressFX, the hyper-realistic hair modelling system that is showcased in the latest Tomb Raider game.
Matt Skynner, an AMD VP and general manager of graphics, said on stage that AMD chips in consoles means that Radeon equipped PCs are the best match for next-generation games, reiterating the company’s claims to the fastest desktop (Radeon HD 7990) and mobile (Radeon HD 8970M) GPUs.
Naturally, AMD would like a lot more of both the IP licensing and gaming business.
“So when we look at our strategy going forward, we say how can we get a piece of that market,” Mr. Skynner said on stage.
AMD has positioned itself to be fiercely competitive in the IP licensing business, the inclusion of AMD chips on next-generation consoles proves this. While it has a long way to go to catch up to NVIDIA, not to mention Intel, the company is entering 2013 ready for a comeback.