UPDATE: The Richland APUs are likely to be 32nm parts, not 28nm as indicated in an earlier draft of this article.
AMD's Consumer Electronics Show presentations this year have been dominated by one initialism, with the company showing off a raft of new Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) as it looks to steal a little market share from Intel in the desktop and laptop and ARM in the tablet spaces.
AMD's announcements covered four product codenames within the APU family: Kabini, Richland, Kaveri and Temash. First, Kabini: designed for ultra-thin notebooks - Intel's Ultrabook segment, in other words - the chips are claimed to offer twice the compute performance of current-generation Brazos 2.0 APUs without sacrificing battery life through the use of new Jaguar processing cores and a true system-on-chip (SoC) design. Firm figures are not yet available, but AMD has confirmed that Kabini will launch in dual- and quad-core flavours.
Richland, meanwhile, is a family of APUs that have started shipping this year to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking to build more traditional laptops and desktops. With a claimed performance boost of 20 to 40 per cent over previous-generation APUs, there's a fair bit of spare power available to the system - and AMD is making full use of that by planning to bundle gesture- and facial-recognition software with Richland-based systems. A follow-up chip family, Kaveri, has been confirmed as launching in the second half of the year, boosting performance still further and adding new heterogeneous systems architecture (HSA) features at a 28nm process node.
Temash, finally, is designed to sit at the very top of AMD's mobile-centric APU line-up. Claimed to be the highest-performance system-on-chip design for tablets, Temash replaces Hondo with double the graphics performance of its predecessor. As with Kabini, itself another true system-on-chip (SoC) design, Temash is expected to launch in dual- and quad-core flavours.
The first of these chips to launch will be the AMD A10-6800K, and while firm figures are not yet available preliminary figures
point to the chip boasting a quad-core design based on a 32nm process with updated Piledriver cores, heterogeneous systems architecture (HSA) improvements and the rumoured possibility of second-generation Graphics Core Next (GCN)-based Radeon HD 8000 integrated graphics in the same 100W thermal design profile (TDP) as its Trinity-based A10-5800K predecessor. A June retail launch is expected, but not yet confirmed by AMD.
AMD also announced the Radeon HD 8000 family of graphics processors, previously confirmed for laptops
and now officially available to OEMs for use in desktop systems as the Radeon HD 8000 Series. Official specifications for the Radeon HD 8700M & 8800M
and Radeon HD 8500M & 8600M
mobile GPUS and Radeon HD 8000 Series
desktop GPUs have now been published, pointing towards a series that tops out with the AMD Radeon HD 8970: a 1GHz (1.05GHz boost) GPU teamed with 3GB of GDDR5 memory on a 1.5GHz clock offering 288GB/s bandwidth, 2,048 stream processors across 32 compute units for 4.3 teraflops of single-precision compute and 1.07 teraflops of double-precision compute, 128 texture units, 128 Z/stencil ROP units, and 32 colour ROP units on a PCI Express 3.0 x16 interface.
Sadly, AMD has been quiet on firm retail availability and pricing for any of its announced products - but to keep you amused while we wait for more information, here's AMD demonstrating the benefits of the gesture-based computing software it plans to bundle with the Richland-generation APUs.