updated 04:10 pm EST, Thu February 2, 2012
AMD shares future chip plans, focus on 28nm dies
Computer chipmaker AMD took the opportunity at its yearly Financial Analyst Day to show off upcoming products for 2012 and 2013. They include CPUs and APUs (combined CPU and graphics) for ultrathin notebooks, tablets, all-in-ones, desktops, and servers, with most focusing on lower power use. Some are also designed with the developing world in mind and accessing the cloud.
For the remainder of 2012, AMD will focus on updating current products, releasing a second-generation, high-performance A-series APU, codenamed Trinity, for notebooks. It will be available in both standard 35W versions and low voltage ones (17-25W). They will sport between two and four 'Piledriver' CPU cores and a second-gen DirectX 11 graphics core. Brazos 2.0 will involve C- and E-series APUs using up between 9 and 18W and using up two 'Bobcat' CPU cores, along with DirectX 11 GPU.
The tablet and mobile device chips are codenamed Hondo and will be Z-series APUs with one or two Bobcat cores. They will ultra low voltage designs (4.5W) and also support DirectX 11. They replace the Krishna chips.
On the desktop side for 2012, second-gen FX CPUs will carry the Vishera codename and have between four and eight Piledriver cores on the performance end of the scale. More mainstream chips will include second-gen A-series 'Trinity' APUs, with two or four Piledriver cores and a second-gen DirectX 11-compatible video core. Finally, the entry-level Brazos 2.0 chips will have two Bobcat cores and the same graphics as above.
Four new Opteron processors will be introduced this year.
In 2013, the new chips will be built on the 28nm process. The performance mobile side includes the Kaveri A-series APUs with their two or four Steamroller cores and a mysterious Graphics Core Next (GCN). HSA app support is promised, and the chips will be available in 35W, 25W, and 17W variations. Moving down to more mainstream choices, Kabini APUs will sport two or four Jaguar cores and the GCN video. The fanless/tablet chips include Tamesh APUs that will replace Z-series chips. Two Jaguar cores and GCN will be onboard.
The 2013 desktop chips at the high-end will retain quad- and eight-core designs and continue on the 32nm die. The second-gen FX CPUs will carry the Vishera moniker and sport between four and eight cores. Kaveri desktop APUs will be targeted at the more mainstream market and use the 28nm architecture and get between two and four Steamroller CPU cores. GCN and HSA app support is promised too. Kabini APUs get either two or four CPU cores and GCN.
AMD CEO Rory Read said these next two years will target the company moving to a full system-on-chip (SoC) design covering devices ranging from desktops to tablets and ultrathins, the last of which would compete with Intel's ultrabook category.