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AMD announces ‘Carrizo’, ‘Carrizo-L’ APUs for laptops, AiO desktops

Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday formally announced its code-named “Carrizo” and “Carrizo-L” accelerated processing units (APUs) that integrate the company’s next-generation general-purpose and graphics processing units. The new chips will arrive in the first half of next year and will target similar-class devices, including notebooks, 2-in-1s, all-in-one desktops and some other.

Although the “Carrizo” and the “Carrizo-L” accelerated processing units carry essentially the same code-names, the chips are poles apart and are powered by very different technologies. The “Carrizo” APUs integrate up to four high-performance “Excavator” x86 cores, Radeon R7 graphics engine based on the GCN 1.2 architecture, a dual-channel DDR3/DDR4 memory controller as well as full HSA [heterogeneous system architecture] 1.0 implementation. By contrast, the “Carrizo-L” APUs feature up to four low-power Puma+ x86 cores, Radeon R-series graphics engine based on the GCN 1.0 architecture as well as a single-channel DDR3 memory controller.

AMD A-series “Carrizo” APU

Both “Carrizo” and “Carrizo-L” APUs for mobile and all-in-one desktop PCs feature either on-package or integrated I/O controllers and use next-generation FP4 ball grid array (BGA) packaging. Since the chips are pin-to-pin compatible, PC makers will be able to use them inside similar systems, which saves a lot of time and effort for them. Both chips integrate ARM TrustZone security technology, which AMD calls secure processor core.

AMD will continue to offer code-named “Mullins” system-on-chips for tablets in 2015. Although it is expected that AMD will roll-out ARM-based SoCs for tablets next year, the company still has not officially confirmed such plans.


“We continue to innovate and build upon our existing IP to deliver great products for our customers,” said John Byrne, senior vice president and general manager of computing and graphics business group at AMD. “AMD's commitment to graphics and compute performance, as expressed by our goal to improve APU energy efficiency 25x by 2020, combines with the latest industry standards and fresh innovation to drive the design of the 2015 AMD Mobile APU family. We are excited about the experiences these new APUs will bring and look forward to sharing more details in the first half of next year.”

amd_carrizo_apu_fusion_1 amd_carrizo_apu_fusion_system

AMD “Carrizo” and “Carrizo-L” chips will be made using 28nm fabrication process. The “Carrizo” APU will integrate 3.1 billion of transistors (an increase of 28 per cent compared to the “Kaveri” chip), but will maintain rather small die size of 244.62mm2 (“Kaveri” features die size of 245mm2).

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On Thursday AMD only disclosed plans for “Carrizo” and “Carrizo-L” APUs for mobile and AiO platforms. It remains to be seen what the company plans to offer for desktops next year.

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KitGuru Says: The key thing that AMD announced on Thursday is the fact that the “Carrizo” and the “Carrizo-L” APUs will use the same FP4 BGA package, will be pin-to-pin compatible and will address the same types of devices. It is surprising that AMD has not revealed any details regarding its “Carrizo” APUs for desktops, a move that could emphasize AMD’s priorities for 2015. It looks like AMD will try to focus on multimedia notebooks, not desktops, with its APUs next year.

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