AMD Trinity Roadmap – 2012 and Beyond

May 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Technology

Ready for a ton of cool new code named AMD APUs (like excavator or Trinity)? Well get ready because the maker of the computer industry’s APUs has a pretty exciting Roadmap for 2013. But before we go too deep into the nitty gritty of the AMD Trinity Roadmap and Roadmaps for other lines, let’s start off with some general AMD Apu takeaways. Per CEO Rory Read, 2012 and 2013 are “all about execution,”. The key to this strategy, as he describes it, is to continue marching towards a full-SoC design that will cover a host of devices running the gamut from mainstream laptops to tablets and so-called Ultrathins, the company’s forthcoming answer to Intel’s Ultrabook onslaught.

Later this year the company’s poorly-received Bulldozer line will be replaced by Vishera, and there look to be no further refreshes to its high-end desktop CPUs on the horizon. it makes sense, really, given the rumors we’ve seen over the past couple of months, as AMD looks to distance itself as a direct competitor to Intel, leverage its graphics know-how, and work on improving its low power x86 implementations for thinner laptops and tablets.

Also due out this year are AMD’s 32nm Trinity APUs, which will replace the company’s Llano line. We had the opportunity to test Trinity back at CES, and came away impressed with the APU after an extreme multi-tasking demonstration. We’ve since heard that the low-voltage variety likely to find its way into ultra-thin laptops won’t be quite such a workhorse — the low-voltage 17W Trinity is on-par with the 35W Llano chip — but we should at least see improved battery life there. Interestingly, both the standard and low voltage varieties are set to be available in dual- and quad-core configurations.

Although AMD could have announced the presence of Trinity and Brazos 2.0 parts in the channel sooner, it would have been largely irrelevant. AMD needs its APU chips to be integrated into laptops and embedded devices and what Hughes’ announcement really means is that machines with Trinity and Brazos 2.0 processors are just weeks away from hitting store shelves.
AMD is banking heavily on its APU chips to help it compete against Intel. While AMD enjoyed success with Llano and Brazos processors in 2011, it needs to push on and execute well, as Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge processors will also include a bump in the graphics department

AMD’s “Brazos 2.0” Accelerated Processor Unit (APU) family will be used for essential desktop and notebook, netbook, tablet, all-in-one and small desktop form factors. This allows us to address a fast-growing segment of the PC market where AMD’s APUs have proven success with the original “Brazos” line-up – the C-Series, E-Series and Z-Series APUs. We will add plenty of new features to the “Brazos 2.0” APU family, including increased CPU and GPU performance, longer battery life, a bevy of integrated I/O options and improvements to AMD Steady Video technology. “Brazos 2.0” is scheduled to hit the market in the first half of 2012.

As for next year, the company seeks to standardize around moving its APUs and GPUs over to the 28nm process, except for a continuation of its lone quad- and octo-core high-end 32nm family of CPUs, codenamed “Vishera.” Starting with Trinity, that A-Series of Fusion chips will be known as “Kaveri” in its third iteration, and will be offered in 35W, 25W and 17W flavors. “Kabini,” the follow-up to Brazos, will have two- and four-core models, and carries the vague promise of “better graphics” and lower power consumption. In the case of both the Kaveri and Kabini families, AMD will begin integrating the fusion controller hub, allowing for a more bona fide system on a chip. At the lower-power end of the spectrum, the “Temash” platform will succeed the Z series, but we don’t know much about it except that it will be targeted at fanless tablets, fanless clamshells and other thin form factors expected to deliver exceptionally long battery life.

2013 brings major evolution to the client roadmaps as the vision presented by Rory, Mark and Lisa today begin to manifest – including moving our low power APUs to a system on a chip (SoC) design with the AMD Fusion Controller Hub integrated right into a single chip design.

In the performance APU category our third-generation APU, “Kaveri,” will employ “Steamroller” (the evolution of AMD’s “Piledriver” core architecture) x86 cores for enhanced instructions per clock and power advantages. Applications that take advantage of GPU accelerate will give users an amazing experience thanks to our Graphics Core Next and new Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) enabling features for easier programming of accelerated processing capabilities.

In the low power category, the “Kabini” SoC APU takes over for “Brazos 2.0.” This second generation low power APU integrates “Jaguar” x86 cores for augmented performance and energy efficiency. These APUs will also benefit from select HSA features and functionality.

We keep on innovating for the ultra-low power space in 2013. Our second generation, ultra-low-power “Temash” SoC APU will follow “Hondo” for tablet and other fanless form factors. This APU will also leverage the “Jaguar” low-power x86 cores and HSA features.

We at AMD strongly believe these roadmap updates help us time new product introductions with customer design phases to hit key sales cycles across a range of form factors and experiences. We are moving with the market and on the path to deliver exceptional productivity and user experience in a wide array of form factors.

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