AMD at Computex 2016 has unveiled its 7th generation laptop processors. Apart from two FX-Series APUs, the company introduced seven new APUs in its A-Series and E-Series. The chipmaker also unveiled the Radeon RX480 graphics card based on its Polaris architecture – the card is VR ready, AMD says, and has an suggested retail price of just $199 – seriously lowering the price bar for PC users to correctly enjoy virtual reality. AMD’s upcoming Zen-based Summit Ridge processors were also partially detailed at the event.
Starting with the new AMD APU SKUs – they are based on a new version of the Excavator core first seen in the Carrizo SoCs, called the Excavator mk2 – still based on the 28nm fabrication process. AMD has divided the new SKUs into entry-level notebook and mainstream notebook offerings – Stoney Ridge and Bristol Ridge respectively. The chipmaker says Stoney Ridge offers 52 percent faster performance than the previous generation of entry-level mobile chips from the company, and Bristol Ridge offers 56 percent faster performance than its Carrizo counterparts.
AMD has not detailed the pricing of the Stoney Ridge and Bristol Ridge chips, meant for OEMs, but says its partners have already begun using them in laptops. The former lineup features two CPU cores, while the latter lineup features four CPU cores. Stoney Ridge APUs come with up to 4 GPU CUs, while Bristol Ridge APUs come with up to 8 GPU CUs.
The new Bristol Ridge APUs for mainstream notebooks are available in the FX, A12, and A10 lineups, specifically, the AMD FX 9830P (3GHz base clock, 3.7GHz max clock), AMD FX 9800P (2.7GHz base clock, 3.6GHz max clock), AMD A12-9730P (2.8GHz base clock, 3.5GHz max clock), AMD A12-9700P (2.5GHz base clock, 3.4GHz max clock), AMD A12-9630P (2.6GHz base clock, 3.3GHz max clock), and AMD A12-9600P SKUs (2.4GHz base clock, 3.3GHz max clock). All bear 2MB of shared L2 Cache, and 12 PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes.
On the other hand, the Stoney Ridge APUs are available in the A9, A6, and E2 lineups, specifically, AMD A9-9410 (2.9GHz base clock, 3.5GHz max clock), AMD A6-9210 (2.4GHz base clock, 2.8GHz max clock), and AMD E2-9010 (2GHz base clock, 2.2GHz max clock). All three bear 1MB of L2 Cache.
All APUs in the Bristol Ridge series bear a 15W TDP, except for the ’30P’ variants, which bear a 35W TDP. The Stoney Ridge APUs on the other hand all bear 15W TDPs. The new AMD FX and AMD A12 APUs bear Radeon R7 graphics, while the AMD A10 and AMD A9 APUs bear Radeon R5 graphics. The AMD A6 and AMD E2 APUs on the other hand bear Radeon R4 and Radeon R2 graphics respectively. The graphics cores are clocked between 600MHz and 900MHz.
The nine new APUs all support DDR4 memory, but in dual-channel form only. All the APUs also fit on the Carrizo’s FM2+ socket, meaning OEMs will not have to use new motherboards for refreshed laptop models.
Coming to the new AMD Radeon RX480 VR-ready GPU – the graphics card will be available in 4GB and 8GB of GDDR5 memory variants, and the first cards from AMD partners based on the GPU will hit stores on June 29. At least one of the variants will be HTC Vive Ready and Oculus Rift certified.
The card is based on the Global Foundries 14nm FinFET fabrication process. While AMD has not yet detailed which specific Polaris GPU it is using on the Radeon RX480, Anandtech speculates it to be the Polaris 10. It is based on the Graphics Core Next 4.0 (GCN 4.0) architecture.
As for specifications, the AMD Radeon RX480 comes with 2304 stream processors (allocated in 36 CUs), while AMD has not detailed the number of texture units, ROPs, or transistor count. It is said to deliver over 5 teraflops of performance, feature a boost clock over 1.08GHz, sport an 8Gbps memory clock and 256-bit memory bandwidth, and offer a TDP of 150W. The GPU supports HDMI 2.0a, DisplayPort 1.3/1.4, as well as AMD’s Freesync technology.
Finally, we get to the few new details about AMD’s upcoming Zen architecture based Summit Ridge generation of processors, which will use the new AM4 desktop socket. The company at the event showcased an early sample of an 8-core Zen-based CPU. The first samples will be rolled out to select partners in a few weeks. Wider availability will take place in Q3 2016, though the retail launch was not detailed.