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CES: AMD finally unveils 28nm APU Kaveri to battle Intel Haswell

First APU to feature heterogeneous system architecture (HSA)
Tue Jan 07 2014, 16:30
This is the AMD Kaveri chip

CHIP DESIGNER AMD has finally unveiled its long-awaited next generation Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) Kaveri at CES in Vegas.

As a 28nm silicon chip, the Kaveri APU packs 2.41 billion transistors. The biggest change in terms of architecture for Kaveri is its use of AMD's x86 Steamroller architecture, a multi-threaded architecture focusing on enhancing the Instruction Per Cycle (IPC) rate by up to 20 percent.

Being the first APU to feature AMD's heterogeneous system architecture (HSA), a system of shared memory and heterogeneous queuing that allows both the CPU and GPU to create and dispatch work independently and efficiently, Kaveri is touted by AMD as having up to 12 compute cores.

However, this refers to four CPU cores and eight AMD Graphics Core Next (GCN) compute units linked via HSA. This suggests that the integrated graphics processing hardware will assist with compute tasks, though whether this proves true remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, AMD promises that Kaveri will deliver "vastly superior performance" over its competition, with no prizes for guessing that refers to Intel's Haswell CPU launched last autumn.

The flagship Kaveri APU is named A10-7850K and is designed to battle separate CPU and GPU system configurations. This replaces AMD's previous Richland APU, named the A10-6800K.

The A10-7850K will be clocked at 3.7GHz, hitting 4GHz in turbo mode. AMD's slides claim 87 percent performance improvement over Intel's Core i5 4670K CPU in gaming performance using the 3D Mark benchmarking tool, 63 percent improvement over the same Intel chip in compute power and 24 percent improvement in system performance.

Kaveri will ship on 14 January. We'll have a more detailed look at the chip before then, so be sure to check back. µ


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