AMD Confirms Delay of Kaveri Chip to Early 2014

No Steamroller in Commercial Products This Year

by Anton Shilov
08/07/2013 | 11:10 PM

Advanced Micro Devices has confirmed that its highly-anticipated Kaveri accelerated processing unit that will features a number of innovations related to general-purpose computing on graphics processing units will not be available this year. It looks like Kaveri will be formally unleashed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 and then will reach the market in late Q1 or early Q2 next year, which will result in exactly one year delay compared to the original schedule.


Speaking to VR-Zone web-site, Roy Taylor, AMD’s vice president of channel sales, claimed that “AMD never said the launch would be before Christmas” of 2013, and that the next-generation code-named Kaveri accelerated processing unit “would be available shortly after its formal launch at CES”. He then said the “architecture itself was ready to go”, but attributed the delays of the launch to the fact that the “HSA’s marketing not yet being complete”.

With its first two generations of accelerated processing units – Llano and Trinity – the company traditionally aimed early calendar year as a launch window. But then had to delay the chips to mid-year release due to manufacturing and/or logistics issues. The code-named Kaveri APU was supposed to be released in the first half of 2013, based on roadmaps and plans the company communicated to analysts, investors and OEMs in 2012. Back in October, 2012, AMD’s chief executive officer reiterated plans to launch Kaveri in the first half of 2013. Earlier this year the company pledged to deliver Kaveri in late 2013.

As it appears now, AMD has completely redesigned its roadmap and now intends to formally introduce A-series “Kaveri” products at the CES 2014 then to ship it to customers in Q1, just like rumoured several weeks ago. The reasons for a postponement of around a year are unclear, but a major delay is obvious. Given the fact that Kaveri is a very important project for AMD as it will serve desktop, laptop and server markets, a set back is a bad news for the company. Kaveri is expected to be replaced by Carizo APU in 2015.

Also in late Q1 – early Q2 2014 the world’s second largest supplier of microprocessors is expected to release its code-named Mallins and Beema APUs based on second-generation Jaguar-based designs. Mallins and Beema are projected to be succeeded by code-named Nolan APUs in 2015.

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 graphics engine. The Kaveri chip will be AMD’s first high-performance accelerated processing unit with HSA [heterogeneous system architecture] enhancements, such as heterogeneous uniform memory access, CPU and GPU cache coherency and other. Moreover, Kaveri will be AMD’s first high-performance APUs made using 28nm process technology. Finally, the chips will feature new dual-channel memory controller as well as all-new power management.

As a result of massive changes inside Kaveri, the chips will feature new FM2+ form-factor and will only be compatible with new mainboards with FM2+ sockets, according to a new roadmap update issued by AMD. The new chips will therefore be incompatible with existing mainboards, which means that there will be no upgrade path for systems based on A-series “Trinity” and “Richland” APUs.

Given the fact that Kaveri will feature a number of “firsts” for AMD, a new socket was something logical to expect. What is unclear at this point is whether FM2+ mainboards will have any specific requirements and whether they will be more expensive than existing motherboards with FM2 sockets.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.