CHIP DESIGNER AMD announced its first x86 system on chip (SoC) sporting a CPU based on its Jaguar architecture and a GPU based on its Sea Islands architecture.
AMD's x86 G series chips have been around for a few years, but the firm has not integrated the CPU, GPU and the I/O controller hub into a single die until now. The firm's latest G series embedded chips sport dual-core or quad-core processors coupled to a fully fledged Sea Islands GPU and an on-die I/O controller hub, making it the firm's first true SoC.
AMD's latest G series SoCs come in dual-core and quad-core parts, all of which support ECC memory, with the dual-core 1GHz GX-210HA offering the lowest TDP of 9W. The is pretty impressive given that the chip also sports a Radeon HD 8210E GPU clocked at 300MHz that supports both DirectX 11.1 and OpenCL. The firm's range-topping GX-420CA is a quad-core part clocked at 2GHz with a Radeon HD 8400E GPU clocked at 600MHz and a thermal design power (TDP) rating of 25W.
Although AMD has been pushing its accelerated processing units for almost two years, the firm has not integrated the I/O controller hub onto the same silicon, meaning previous systems based on the firm's G series chips needed two chips on the circuit board. The firm's latest batch of G series chips are what chip vendors like to term "single chip solutions", meaning that device makers can save on material costs and circuit board space with the latest G series chips taking 600 square millimetres on the circuit board.
Interestingly AMD has a version of its G series SoC without a GPU. The firm's quad-core 1.6GHz GX-416RA is rated at 15W TDP, the same power consumption as the quad-core GX-415GA, a 1.5GHz quad-core chip that also has a Radeon HD 8330E GPU.
AMD has managed to pack considerable connectivity into the G series chips. The firm has added dual-display output capability, SATA 3.0 and eight lane PCI Express 2 connectivity that can be used as a general purpose bus, while eight USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connections along with an SD Card reader or SDIO controller are also available.
AMD touted an improved operating temperature range of -40C to 85C which will enable it to flog chips in a number of new markets.
The firm told The INQUIRER that DirectX 11.1 support was primarily required for the gambling industry, where the firm intends to sell its G series SoC parts to video gambling machine vendors. AMD also said its G series SoCs support OpenCL for compute applications.
According to AMD, its G series SoC parts are not intended for server use despite supporting ECC memory and are not the same chips that will be found in the upcoming Playstation 4 processor. Nevertheless, the G series SoCs could shake up the embedded market with substantial CPU and GPU compute power offering both AMD and its customers flexibility in high volume markets. µ
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