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AMD eyes Intel Bay Trail with Mullins and Beema mobile APU updates

Better performance and efficiency for fanless tablets, laptops and two-in-one devices
Wed Nov 13 2013, 22:15
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CHIP DESIGNER AMD has unveiled an update to its line of APU chips designed for mobile devices, the Beema and Mullins APUs, which it claims will deliver better performance and efficiency for fanless tablets, laptops and hybrid devices.

Challenging Intel's Bay Trail mobile chip announced in September, AMD's updated APUs are based on the firm's new Puma core, a budget equivalent to Intel's Centrino Duo.

The Beema and Mulins APUs update AMD's Kabini and Temash low power system on chip (SoC) processors that were launched in May and were based on the firm's Jaguar core, which is best known for powering both Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4 (PS4) games consoles.

Temash was the firm's first SoC, featuring up to four Jaguar cores with 1MB of level 2 cache per two cores, support for DDR3L memory and real-time 1080p resolution decode for H.264 video. Pitched at tablets and laptop/tablet hybrid devices, the "ultra-low power" Mullins APU update offers the same quad-core support but at a lower power consumption 2W Scenario Design Point (SDP), as opposed to the 3W to 4W SDP of the Temash APU.

While Mullins is intended for tablets and low-end convertible mobile devices, Beema - AMD's "low power essential" APU update - is aimed at the high volume mainstream laptop market. According to AMD, similar power savings as seen in the Mullins APU are reflected in Beema, which replaces AMD's Kabini chip. Beema promises 10W to 15W power usage over Kabini's 15W to 25W.

AMD said both Bema and Mullins are optimised for running the Windows 8.1 operating system (OS) bringing "faster wake times and to ensure data, such as e-mail, actively refreshes in standby".

The new line of mobile APUs also brings additional security features, integrating ARM's Trustzone security processor technology based on its A5 chip, which AMD said protects users against software attack from the open/rich OS side of the system.

"[This technology] provides scalable environment for secure applications like user authentication, anti-malware, content management, online payments," AMD said.

At the moment, details are scarce regarding AMD's current mobile APU line as the news will be announced in the evening on Wednesday, so check back tomorrow when more detailed information comes through regarding the APUs. µ


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