AMD Carrizo APUs will launch in December
Published: 8th October 2014 | Source: Digitimes |
AMD Carrizo APUs could launch in December
After AMD's CORE Evolution Video a few months ago, I have been looking into AMD's next Generation Carizzo APUs with interest. The Chinese website VR-Zone then gave us our first round of information regarding AMD's Excavator based APU and now thanks to Digitimes we have launch times for both the desktop and laptop variants of these upcoming Processors.
Please bear in mind that these are unconfirmed by AMD, so take this information with a piece of salt. Now thaty that is out of the way, we can get started.
Digitimes say that AMD will launch Desktop Carrizo APUs in March 2015, but will be releasing the Carrizo-L, the entry-level (low power) notebook version of Carrizo, in December of this year. Carrizo-L APUs will replace AMD's existing Beema and Mullins APUs for entry-level notebooks, laptops and tablets.
Next Generation APU
What we have is a slide from AMD and a Carizzo Block diagram, which we have talked about previously here, shown below. From this we can tell that Carrizo will be very similar to it's predecessors in term of design, CPU Cores of the Bulldozer line (now generation 4 Excavator cores), 8 GCN GPU units, the same 28nm processing node as Kaveri and support for Dual channel DDR3 memory.
Note that AMD decided not to support the newer DDR4 standard, which is obviously due to the increased platform cost of using DDR4 memory as AMD's APU linup has always been a budget friendly offering.
The 2 Excavator modules inside make up the CPUs 4 Cores, which is said to give a 30% performance gain compared to last generation parts at 15W TDPs. This means that compared to last Generation these APUs will no doubt be impressive, especially given the efficiency of current Kabini CPUs. The performance gains for higher wattage CPUs remains unknown, but it will more than likely be less than 30%.
Another thing to note on the CPU side is that there has been a decrease in L2 cache from 4MB on the Kaveri to 2MB on Carizzo. This may be due to Die Size issues, or perhaps AMD removing unnecessary cache from the APU. This may reduce the performance of the APU, especially in scenarios that enjoy using a larger amount of cache. Hopefully this does not lead to a situation where AMD's current offerings can perform better than their next generation in certain situations.
This APU as said previously will use 8 GCN generation 3.0 compute units, which is 512 Stream processors in total. It will also feature a greater memory controller and a new high speed bus to connect the x86 CPU, Ram and graphics cores together, which should improve general GPU performance and significantly improve the performance benefits of HSA (heterogeneous system architecture) enhancements.
The GCN 3.0 architecture is also projected to support the DirectX 12 API, but it is unclear whether it will actually support all its new capabilities, or simply just compatible with the API while supporting the current DirectX 11.2 features.
On the display connections standpoint Carizzo will support HDMI 2.0 allowing 4K monitors to be supported at 120Hz, which could make this APU great for a 4K HTPC. Out of the Box Kaveri will be able to support up to 3 monitors, so it will be ideal for general multi-monitor office use.
One other thing to note here is the mention of Delta Colour Compression in the slide. AMD has developed more efficient algorithms for features like like color compression, which they say has increased memory bandwidth efficiency by 40%. This feature is already used in AMD's Tonga R9 285 GPU and will likely be of great benifit to the APU given it's reliance on slower DDR3 memory rather than GDDR5 memory seen in most dedicated GPUs.
With AMDs Carrizo APU on the same 28nm process node, it is hard to expect too much from this release. AMD have worked hard to improve both the GCN and Bulldozer core architectures, and even how they can connect together, but we can't expect an increased core count or a Intel smashing performance boost.
This means that Carizzo will not bring AMD back into the big leagues of high performance CPUs, but hopefully these gains can make Carrizo a more viable gaming platform or gain just enough performance to not dismissed by Intel's upcoming CPUs.
Join the discussion AMD's Carizzo APU on the OC3D forums.