AMD Updates Embedded Product Roadmap: x86, ARM and GPU Products Detailed

AMD Details Future Embedded APUs, CPUs and GPUs

by Anton Shilov
09/09/2013 | 11:15 PM

Advanced Micro Devices on Monday disclosed its roadmap for the fast-growing embedded computing market. The new lineup includes two best-in-class x86 accelerated processing units (APUs) and central processing units (CPUs); high-performance ARM system-on-chip (SoC) and a new family of discrete AMD Embedded Radeon graphics processing units (GPUs) expected to launch in 2014.


“AMD is committed to providing the embedded community with the solutions required to succeed in today’s transformative market as it continues to expand at an unprecedented rate. There are different customer needs in different segments of this market -- from low-power to high-performance, Linux to Windows, x86 to ARM -- and now with our upcoming product portfolio, we are addressing them by providing embedded design engineers with a range of solutions backed by our embedded longevity program for supply stability assurance to fit their every need,” said Arun Iyengar, vice president and general manager of AMD embedded solutions.

In 2014, AMD plans to bring to market two new high-performance AMD embedded R-series processor families: the Hierofalcon microprocessor system-on-chip family based on the ARM Cortex-A57 architecture and the Bald Eagle APU and CPU offering based on the x86 microprocessor architecture code-named Steamroller. The upcoming Steppe Eagle APU SoC is designed to provide improved performance while extending the low-power characteristics of the current AMD Embedded G-Series SoC family. In addition, Adelaar will bring to market the first discrete GPU based on AMD graphics core next (GCN) architecture for embedded systems.

AMD’s Hierofalcon is the first 64-bit ARM-based platform from AMD targeting embedded data center applications, communications infrastructure and industrial solutions. It will include up to eight ARM Cortex-A57 general-purpose cores expected to run up to 2.0GHz, and provides high-performance memory with two 64-bit DDR3/4 channels with error correction code (ECC) for high reliability applications. The highly integrated SoC includes 10Gb KR Ethernet and PCI-Express 3.0 for high-speed network connectivity. The Hierofalcon series also provides enhanced security with support for ARM TrustZone technology and a dedicated cryptographic security co-processor, aligning to the increased need for networked, secure systems. Hierofalcon is expected to be sampling in the second quarter of 2014 with production in the second half of the year.

AMD’s Bald Eagle is the next generation high-performance x86-based embedded processor available as both an APU and CPU featuring up to four new Steamroller CPU cores within a 35W TDP. The APU products will provide the new power-optimized AMD Radeon GCN architecture and HSA enhancements for high-performance embedded applications, making it a superior solution for next-generation digital signage and embedded digital gaming. The Bald Eagle family will also introduce new power management features, such as configurable TDP, allowing engineers more design flexibility. Bald Eagle is expected to be available in the first half of 2014.

The forthcoming Steppe Eagle will further extend the performance and low-power range of the current award-winning AMD embedded G-series APU SoC platform with an enhanced “Jaguar” CPU core architecture and AMD GCN GPU architecture that include new features for increased CPU and GPU frequency. Steppe Eagle is designed to offer increased performance-per-watt both at a lower TDP than the current AMD embedded G-Series APU SoC, as well as extending the high-end performance above 2GHz. “Steppe Eagle” also provides embedded design engineers the flexibility to leverage the current board design and software stack for a variety of applications with footprint compatibility. Steppe Eagle is expected to be available in the first half of 2014.

AMD Adelaar is the next-generation discrete AMD embedded Radeon GPU based on GCN architecture specifically designed for embedded applications. The Adelaar comes as a market-differentiating multi-chip module (MCM) with pre-qualified and integrated 2GB of graphics memory. The Adelaar GPU family will deliver rich 3D graphics, multi-display support and support for DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and both Windows and Linux. Adelaar is expected to be available in the first half of 2014 with seven years of planned supply availability as an MCM, mobile PCI express module (MXM) and standard PC graphics card.

The embedded systems market is vast and forms the underpinning for the Surround Computing era. This market is comprised of different segments of which intelligent embedded devices – those enabled with high-performance microprocessors, IP connectivity, and high-level operating systems – are quickly becoming the most significant. A recent VDC Research report indicates the market for CPUs in traditional and intelligent embedded systems will grow 36 percent from roughly 330 million units in 2013 to more than 450 million units by 2016 with x86 and ARM architectures accounting for 82 percent of the total addressable market (TAM). 

“The unprecedented rise of intelligent connected solutions over the next several years will require a myriad of ultra low-power to ultra high-performance solutions connecting devices to the cloud. With their new roadmap, AMD leverages both ARM and x86 computing and graphics architectures to fulfill the company's vision of creating an ambidextrous ecosystem. The current products combined with the new roadmap offer price, performance and power options to meet the needs of embedded designers," said Jim McGregor, principal analyst with Tirias Research.