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Even though Advanced Micro Devices’ Fusion accelerated processing units have featured advanced graphics cores for years, their performance was limited due to insufficient memory bandwidth. With the next-generation high-performance APU code-named Kaveri, AMD will finally unleash its Radeon HD’s potential thanks to a secret weapon, 128-bit GDDR5 memory controller.

AMD Fusion A-series APU code-named Kaveri is projected to feature up to four Steamroller high-performance x86 general-purpose cores as well as GCN architecture-based AMD Radeon HD 7000 graphics engine. However, the most unexpected feature of Kaveri will be its 128-bit memory controller, which will support both DDR3 as well as GDDR5 memory, according to the BrightSideOfNews web-site. The latter memory type should enable very high performance of integrated graphics sub-system for all-in-one and mobile systems. 

Maximum memory bandwidth provided by dual-channel DDR3 memory sub-system at 1866MHz is 29.8GB/s, which should be sufficient for today’s microprocessors, but may be insufficient for powerful graphics adapters. By contrast, an inexpensive 128-bit GDDR5-based memory sub-system with 3400MHz effective clock-speed enables 54.4GB/s of memory bandwidth, or 82% higher compared to DDR3-based subs-system. While this clearly is not enough for a high-end graphics solution, it should be sufficient for modern mainstream graphics adapters that cost $100 - $130 and which truly provide adequate performance in video game.

There are two problems with GDDR5 memory: it requires point-to-point interconnection and the maximum capacity of today’s GDDR5 chips is 2Gb (256MB). The former fact means that AMD A-series “Kaveri” APUs with GDDR5 memory will come in BGA package and will be soldered to mainboards, which will not be a problem for notebooks and all-in-one desktops, but will eliminate any possible upgrade options. The latter fact means that either AMD Kaveri-based system will be equipped with maximum of 4GB of GDDR5 (as 8GB of GDDR5, like on the PlayStation 4, requires 32 chips), which is not enough for modern general-purpose PCs, or AMD and its partners will have to wait till 4Gb GDDR5 chips arrive.

It is expected that AMD will release its Fusion A-series “Kaveri” APUs will be released in late 2013.  However, it is unclear whether AMD will be able to roll-out its next-gen APUs in mass quantities or will only formally unleash the new accelerated processing units.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: AMD, Kaveri, Steamroller, Fusion, 28nm, Radeon, ATI, GCN


Comments currently: 36
Discussion started: 03/05/13 06:47:54 AM
Latest comment: 07/10/13 03:32:02 AM
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Simply WoW......

something like this has to happen in order to push the already super fast AMD APUs to the performance comparable to mainstream discrete GPUs. If this happens nVidia will lose mainstream GPU segment as well and their only market would be top high end.:-P
5 3 [Posted by: tks  | Date: 03/05/13 06:47:54 AM]
- collapse thread

Considering how even their top end struggles to compete with AMD's top end, and consoles are using mid end AMD hardware which is going to make all console games optimized for GCN architecture, NVIDIA looks to be in a corner right now.
7 4 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 03/05/13 06:57:20 AM]

As I have stated for almost a year... in the not too distant future most PCs will be running AMD APUs because they will deliver the performance of a discrete CPU/GPU at a lower cost, use less power and produce less heat.

This ain't rocket science, it's just good engineering and a better hardware strategy that applies to all PC segments from portables to servers. AMD has always been good at strategic planning. Now if GloFo can deliver and it looks like they can, then AMD may very well be gaining a lot of market share.
8 7 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 03/05/13 07:19:27 AM]
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AMD's APU will not be in most computers. APU only affect low end discrete graphics cards. People that want more graphics performance than what the APU delivers will be selecting a high end graphics card. Though, Intel graphics still is plenty for most people, so AMD really needs to market APU better.

AMD has not been always good at strategic planning. If AMD is good as you say, AMD will not be in the mess that they are in now. The two things that AMD did is introduce an instruction set for 80x86 64-bit computing that works well for the future and work with JEDEC spec to make sure the upgrade path from DDR2 to DDR3 is easy.

Like I have been saying. APU needs more memory bandwidth. GDDR5 provides that bandwidth, but at a high cost and board space for 32 chips to have a capacity of 8 GB of RAM. If AMD saids their designs are modular, AMD could easily change the GDDR5 controller to DDR3 using triple channels. If AMD is a strategic planner as you say, AMD needs to step up the game and push DDR4 to come out sooner like 2014 instead of later when ever that will be.
6 4 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 03/05/13 02:13:18 PM]
Yay, we have one more Intel sheepil...
2 4 [Posted by: Atlastiamhere  | Date: 03/05/13 09:53:16 PM]
Tecknurd is still informative. It's good to have dissenting views here and there from non-trolls.
2 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 03/05/13 11:58:16 PM]
Look who's talking! lol
2 1 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 03/06/13 08:41:19 AM]
amd apus won't be in most computers - guaranteed

intel graphic isn't enough for anyone or anything right now, really

a view on memory is just... wrong. push ddr4? why? because it's not used anywhere now? and will perhaps get some use in 2014, more likely 2015? it won't be cheap as you tend to believe until mass-production starts, and it won't happen fast - and amd is certainly not in position to 'push' it sooner

and 4/8gb of gddr5 is not enough - why? top gpus have 3gb... most entry win7/8 systems have 8gb of ddr3 anyway... what are we talking about?

again, this is vicious circle of AMD-Intel high-end war - there isn't one. people buying apus are the ones which care of price rather then performance. people seeking performance don't buy apus anyway. it MAY happen in future, if OpenCL becomes de-facto standardly incorporated in all runtimes and compilers and OS's, but not in 2013 - even then, intel cpus will have advantages on some points, and amd apus on other. how the scales will move, we can only wait and see - but remember that even when amd had clearly superior products, Intel out-sold and out-profited vastly it selling (at that time) name and sticker only
1 1 [Posted by: snakefist  | Date: 03/09/13 06:40:53 AM]
Next Gen Consoles are all AMD hardware, 90% PC games are console ports, game developers don't give a toss about the PC gaming market, they'll just knock a quick port out to PC, pretty obvious what type of PC will run AMD dedicated games the best eh m8?
0 0 [Posted by: Mombasa69  | Date: 07/10/13 03:32:02 AM]

Intel's strategy is the very same - integrating fast programmable GPGPU on the die. They are not on the same performance level as AMD GPUs, but they are getting there fast. So, it is very subjective whether this will help AMD to gain processor market share or not.
NVidia is focused on portable and smartphone, apparently they don't care about the GPU market that much anymore. However, software will move to AMD's GCN at masse, and NVidia will lose the HPC market at one point, which is the most lucrative of all...very bad strategy on their side.
6 3 [Posted by: Ananke  | Date: 03/05/13 09:41:44 AM]
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The main difference is that AMD have both: CPU and GPU technologies. NVIDIA only has GPU technologies at the time and INTEL only has CPU and low end GPU's technology.

Intel will always and only sell x86 chips. NVIDIA will sell only 64 bit ARM chips next year and GPU's, and AMD will sell both 64 bit x86 and 64 bit ARM chips adn low and high-end GPUs.

For those APU critics, remember that the current APU's are still work-in-progress. The ultimate AMD APU will be when AMD finishes integrating natively the GPU wtih the CPU. Then AMD chips will be one of the most scalable and versatile chips ever designed. Intel currently has mostly advantage in chip foundry technology, but AMD will soon have access to the same technology and it is very expensive and technically difficult for Intel to continue to maintain their chip foundry advantage. Not with low-profit margin chips like ARM and AMD.

AMD looks very promising.
4 2 [Posted by: scoob  | Date: 03/06/13 07:30:54 AM]
The Key is Market Segment. Intel will running alone at Enthusiast and a step bellow market. AMD targeting enthusiast with "not that enthusiast budget" and Low market with Their APU which is very promising.

Unfortunately THE VERY mainstream market don't really know (or care) about New Tech. They just eat what TV and retailer told them. For this matter, Intel (once again) step a head of AMD.

FYI: There's no AMD's ads in my country.
0 1 [Posted by: jpunk  | Date: 03/06/13 09:24:03 PM]

I think these GDDR5 memories will come soldered on motherboard (1 GB, for example) and only to be used by the GPU. The CPU cores will continue using common DDR3.
0 0 [Posted by: tafreire  | Date: 03/06/13 01:59:44 PM]
- collapse thread

If the APU can have both GDDR5 and DDR3 memory controllers working at the same time, having both types of memory in the system will be the fastest and most economic way to run the system.
It is kind of like the "side-port memory" from the older motherboard with integrated video a few years ago.
1 0 [Posted by: gjcjan  | Date: 03/07/13 06:10:37 AM]
exactly right
0 0 [Posted by: snakefist  | Date: 03/09/13 07:13:48 AM]

Haha, fun name - "kaveri" means "friend" or "pal" in Finnish - I wonder if they have some Bitboys guys working with the chip.
0 0 [Posted by: Joonas Pihlajamaa  | Date: 04/30/13 10:05:30 AM]
- collapse thread

As I've mentioned elsewhere, "Kaveri" is actually the name of a major river in Karnataka, a state in India.

AMD also has "Kabini" chip, and "Kabini" is also a river in Karnataka, India.

AMD names its cores on major rivers all around the world.
0 0 [Posted by: sholay  | Date: 04/30/13 12:02:33 PM]

"Kaveri" is actually the name of a major river in Karnataka, a state in India. AMD names its cores on major rivers all around the world.
0 0 [Posted by: sholay  | Date: 04/30/13 12:00:58 PM]


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