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AMD's APUs lack GCN GPUs due to roadmap management and limited resources

But it's all coming
Fri Mar 15 2013, 10:58
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CHIP DESIGNER AMD said its decision to hold off on introducing its Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU architecture to its accelerated processor units (APUs) was due to managing its roadmap and working within its resources.

AMD has rolled out its GCN architecture to its desktop and laptop GPUs and even rebranded it, labeling it as the Radeon HD 8000 series, however it has yet to incorporate the architecture into its most important products, the A-series APUs. The firm said this was due to managing its product roadmap and working within its resources.

Kevin Lensing, director of AMD's Notebook Products business unit told The INQUIRER, "This is about managing the roadmap, just like every company does, to find the right place and time to introduce new technologies.

"We decided to roll the GCN architecture into the discrete graphics lineup first, they had the biggest need and biggest challenge and we made that internal decision and we will follow up with Kavari when its ready. [...] It's all coming, we're a company with limited resources, we can't have all discrete graphics, the big APU and the little APU all ready to deliver with the new architecture at the same time. It's a matter of staging and implementing as we go along."

While Lensing did not say exactly what factors are considered when deciding what product line gets the latest architecture, he said the process was, "Mechanical and well thought out, and we are satisfied with it".

As for AMD's GCN plans for APUs, the firm has already said it will appear in its Kabini APUs later this year.

According to Lensing, Kabini, one of three APUs being launched this year is where the greatest sales potential lies. Lensing said, "We are going where the volume is first, our Kabini product is the one that sits in the highest volume part of the notebook part, and that will be GCN and that is a 2013 product."

AMD might be holding back GCN in its APUs to manage its roadmap, but it could find that managing its resources to roll out new architectures to all its product lines is harder than beating Intel's HD graphics technology. µ


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