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Earlier this year Advanced Micro Devices generally confirmed plans to apply ARM architecture not only to special low-power microprocessors for servers, but also to consumer chips. According to a new rumour, the company is indeed preparing a chip designed mostly for tablets with ARMv8 general-purpose cores as well as AMD Radeon HD graphics engine.

In order to be more successful on the market of media tablets, AMD is rumoured to be designing a system-on-chip with unknown number of ARM Cortex-A57 or A53 general-purpose cores as well as Radeon HD graphics engine based on GCN [graphics core next] architecture, reports SweClockers web-site. The chip is projected to be formally unveiled in AMD’s Q4 update of its consumer roadmap and to become available sometimes in 2014. The chip will likely be made using 28nm process technology due to AMD’s “modular chip” approach.

AMD has been attempting to address the growing market of media tablets with its application processors based on x86 architecture with 3.9W – 8W power consumption, but without much success. Usage of ARM should allow AMD to further trim usage of power, thus improve its competitive positions. Furthermore, desktop-class Radeon graphics engine with GCN architecture (the same architecture that powers Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4) will clearly become one of the unique features that AMD will offer to the ultra-portable market.

One of the drawbacks of the chip could be its outdated manufacturing technology. As competing offerings will be made using 20nm fabrication process, AMD’s rumoured app processor for tablets will share numerous blocks with other code-named Seattle and code-named Hierofalcon chips (to be made using 28nm fabrication process) and will thus be made at this year’s node next year.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: ARM, AMD, Cortex, Radeon, GCN, 28nm, ARMv8


Comments currently: 20
Discussion started: 10/04/13 01:57:13 PM
Latest comment: 10/05/13 08:16:38 PM
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"One of the drawbacks of the chip could be its outdated manufacturing technology."
outdated is not necessary something bad,
as it always hides its maturity in that word.
also whose opinion is that 28nm is outdated, when all the gpus are on that node process and will be on that node for 9 months at least.
Should we say a priori that Maxwell is going to suck because it will probably be on the outdated 28nm process, or V.I. suck for the same reason? 7790 is a great example of an outdated but mature design and manufacturing process.
Is this an news' article or someone guy's opinion?
6 0 [Posted by: Yorgos  | Date: 10/04/13 01:57:13 PM]
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Yorgos, although articles are sometimes biased in Xbitlabs, the sentence you called out is not. The author clearly said "it could be," a drawback, NOT that it is. Given the highly competitive market of mobile chips, and average power reduction of newer nodes over old nodes, it does seem that "it could be" a drawback to manufacture chips due out in 2014, 1 node behind AMD's competitors,
0 0 [Posted by: mickpeter  | Date: 10/04/13 09:48:07 PM]
Agreed 28nm is currently best solution and those who think 20nm is better and 28 is poor -
1. 28nm is with us from 2 years so every process complexity is solved and yields are superb.
2. 20nm is not started yet tsmc is installing equipments, and first shipment in later this year or early2014
3. tsmc 20nm process is available in single varient at launch in simple that node will be not for gpu that will be for arm designs,,high performance version will come later surely after Q2.
4. at launch time 20 nm will give painful yield issues which is not a problem for arm but serious issue for big dies like more than 250mm2.
0 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 10/05/13 08:16:38 PM]

AMD will be successful if it stays away from Microsoft OS BS and Intel competition space. It needs to do Android and Linux tablets. As far as 28nm goes, in the end consumers will look at (a) Price (b) Superficial CPU/Graphics specs (ie #cores #GHz). Most won't delve into, understand, or necessarily care to find 8nm difference. The lower chip price that 28nm bulk process delivers will allow OEMs to add a larger Li battery to products in order to compensate for reduced APU efficiencies, which will look superficially good on the spec sheet for the average punter.
1 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/04/13 02:18:56 PM]
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AMD will only be successful if they are willing to compete against any company. At this time, AMD is not willing to compete against Intel in the 80x86. Why would anybody think AMD is willing to compete against Qualcomm, Samsung, and nVidia in the ARM industry. The ARM industry is very cut throat and AMD does not work well in a cut throat industry.

End users look at the phones and tablets. End users do not care of the specs. Companies like LG, and HTC from different ARM companies to include in their phones and tablets. Sometimes Samsung uses different processors for their phones.
0 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 10/05/13 04:01:49 AM]
I completely disagree with your opening statement. Here's an analogy - a soccer team can still be successful if it doesn't play matches against Spain or Brazil away. Sure it won't win The World Cup. But it can still generate good players, results, fans, sponsors and income. The key is to avoid playing Intel away, on their turf and terms. AMD has demonstrated it can't win that match with 1/10 of the company size and budget, but only score the occasional goal with plenty of unforced errors and even some home goals! So that is why it is transitioning to a company that addresses new markets where it can win. In terms of ARM industry, AMD heads the HSA consortium of companies. This consortium is up against the goliath Intel and smaller Nvidia. Its secret weapons are Hetrogenous System Architecture and cross licensing of reusable IP blocks. Together this association of companies is a larger force to be reckoned with than Intel. In its beginning, they will cooperate together to bring down Intel. And this approach will be successful, I have no doubt. Once the major threat has been dealt with. They will then compete against each other for the spoils. But the idea is that together they all stand to gain.
0 1 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/05/13 10:43:37 AM]
And only leave Intel to dominate x86 architecture? If that happen maybe no one will be able to afford Intel processor anymore. Also, less improvement with performance, feature and etc because of no competition
0 0 [Posted by: Sagia86  | Date: 10/05/13 09:02:56 AM]

WoW GCN magic will be available with android as well. A blow to nvidia's remaining revenue markets Tegra.
4 1 [Posted by: tks  | Date: 10/04/13 04:52:32 PM]
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nvidia/qualcomm/intel and the rest still have something extra to offer. The have coomunication basebands build in their chips. Qualcomm was the first, and see how far ahead they are. The fact that you dont need an extra chip to add GSM/Bluetooth/4G/wifi capabilities is actually a big bonus. It saves space, power, and reduces cost.

Now to be honest, AMD may have something up its sleeve that we are not aware of. There is available IP for communications which they may have included in their SoC. But it would be wasted on a micro server if that is their goal. It remains to be seen.

My take is that if they dont have that. They really need to beat the competition by a decent margin to gain some market share. At least in the tablet space where the competition is fierce, and the feature is vital.
0 0 [Posted by: redhavoc  | Date: 10/04/13 05:32:32 PM]
HSA technology will be the X factor. The dramatic impact that this technology will have is still not well comprehended in tech circles, unless you are an engineer at AMD or Intel working on APUs.
3 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/04/13 06:14:53 PM]
Aren't phones and tablets already sharing memory? Is it still being done the old segregated way of laptops?
1 0 [Posted by: KeyBoardG  | Date: 10/04/13 07:17:17 PM]
Yes they share but with lot of restrictions.
1 0 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 10/04/13 08:52:12 PM]
HSA is more than just sharing the memory address space between CPU and GPU to speed up transactions.
0 2 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/05/13 01:21:45 PM]

Amd is going to be killer-

1. Mantle is the trump card-yes this is amd's secret game plan they r targeting 20+ billion industry i.e. gaming,,,,,in gpu14 amd said if a game is running on mantle simply means it will be competible with every mantle supported hardware ex. pc,ps4,xbx1 and now tablets....surely tablet soc will use volcanic island means another mantle supported hardware and mentle is miles ahed than openGL,dx i m not saying crysis on tablet but yes mantle gpu will kill every possible compition like tegra gpu,adreno,powervr,mali etc coz they uses high level api like opengl while mantle is low level means no competition to mantle.

2. HSA is joker-joker is the most intresting part, everyone know hsa spec. are out and amd is the captain of ship,,surely this soc will feature hsa another 2X performane boost(theoretically).,,,,, but only if gets competible ecosystem.(plz don't talk about current gpu accelerated processing).
2 2 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 10/04/13 08:48:33 PM]
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show the post
0 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 10/05/13 01:20:12 PM]
Of course it is, its about AMD, right fanboy?
1 1 [Posted by: AvoNpS2  | Date: 10/05/13 03:44:41 PM]
You are daydreaming as usual.
1 0 [Posted by: AvoNpS2  | Date: 10/05/13 03:43:51 PM]

If this is true, its good news i suppose.
0 0 [Posted by: AvoNpS2  | Date: 10/05/13 03:46:38 PM]


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