AMD has officially announced the launch of its E-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for budget-conscious laptop makers looking for extended battery life.
Designed to sit alongside the previously launched Trinity A-series chips
, the new Brazos 2.0 chips boast performance improvements in both the CPU and GPU sections, optimisations for Windows 8, and an updated controller hub with on-board USB 3.0 and an integrated SD card reader.
'In 2011, we showed the industry you could get discrete-level GPU power in a notebook without added power consumption or cost, resulting in the most successful notebook platform in AMD’s history,
' claimed Chris Cloran, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's client business unit, at the launch event. 'Today we raise the bar even higher with our latest APU offering. Our 2012 AMD E-Series APU gives consumers a visually superior choice for everyday performance with the latest graphics technology and nearly three hours more battery life than the competition.
AMD has announced two Brazos 2.0 chips to make up its initial offering: the E2-1800 is a dual-core chip running at 1.7GHz with 1MB of L2 cache and an 80-core Radeon HD 7340 on-board running at 523MHz base and peaking at 680MHz. The cheaper E1-1200 drops to two 1.4GHz cores and an 80-core Radeon HD 7310 running at 500MHz with no turbo functionality. Both models are designed around an 18W thermal design profile (TDP.)
The top-end E2-1800 also boasts AMD's Steady Video Technology, designed to remove camera judder from video files - although this is missing from the E1-1200.
The headlining feature of Brazos 2.0 is its low power draw. According to AMD's measurements, a laptop based around the E1-1200 Brazos 2.0 APU manages 674 minutes of idle battery life while a similar laptop based around Intel's rival Celeron B800 processor managed a mere 496 minutes in the same test. The result: OEMs able to offer 11 hour battery life in budget-friendly laptops.
Both models also include an integrated controller for SD card access along with two USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports. Additionally, AMD claims that Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system will include specific optimisations to improve performance on Brazos 2.0 platforms.
Commercial availability has not yet been confirmed, but AMD claims that devices from Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba will be hitting the market soon.