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AMD delivers 2013 mobile platforms based on Jaguar cores

23 May 2013
AMD Kabini APU chip

AMD has refreshed its mobile lineup with the official launch of the Temash, Kabini and Richland platforms based on its next-generation Jaguar CPU cores and Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU architecture. The new platforms promise improved performance-per-watt in tablets and laptops along with a hike in graphics capabilities.

Announced today, Temash, Kabini and Richland are aimed at tablets, mainstream laptops and ultrathin performance laptops, respectively. The chips have been shipping to vendors for some time, according to AMD, meaning that systems based on the new products should be available within weeks.

Temash is an ultra-low power system on a chip (SoC) APU, combing CPU, GPU and system I/O into a single package, aimed at "a new class of elite mobility devices", AMD said. This includes tablets, small touchscreen laptops and hybrid devices that convert between the two.

With two to four Jaguar CPU cores, Temash is touted as the first quad-core x86 SoC for tablets and shows an improvement in performance-per-watt of up to 172 percent over AMD's last generation of chips. It will also enable Windows tablets to be competitive against rivals from Apple and Android, according to AMD.

"Most Windows tablets could not hit the price point of the iPad. This is the target for Temash," said Sasa Marinkovic, AMD's head of technology marketing.

Temash has "nearly five times the GPU performance" of Intel's Z2760 Atom chip for tablets, and is positioned "below Core but above Atom" in terms of processing power, Marinkovic claimed.

At launch, the top chip is the A6-1450, clocked at 1.4GHz/1GHz with four CPU cores and 128 Radeon GPU cores. The A4-1250 and A4-1200 are dual-core parts clocked at 1GHz.

The mainstream Kabini platform is also an SoC APU, and boasts best-in-class graphics among its features, according to AMD. "We have high hopes for this platform as it delivers great battery life," said Marinkovic, who claimed it is 25 percent more power efficient than the previous Brazos platform.

The top A6-5200 part is being positioned by AMD against Intel's Core i3 chip. It has four Jaguar CPU cores clocked at 2GHz plus 128 GPU cores, equivalent to a standalone Radeon HD 8400 card, according to AMD.

Meanwhile, the A4-5000 1.5GHz quad-core part is positioned against Intel's Pentium, and three E-Series parts go up against the Celeron brand. These latter are dual core with clock speeds of 1.65GHz down to 1GHz.

AMD's third mobile platform is Richland, which supersedes last year's Trinity platform and is aimed at "elite performance ultrathin laptops", the firm said.

The standard voltage Richland chips were announced in March, but the new chips add ultra-low voltage versions promising longer battery life.

Unlike Temash and Kabini, Richland uses the older Piledriver cores rather than Jaguar, but these are combined with the new graphics and tweaked for power efficiency to deliver "10 hours plus" battery life, according to Marinkovic.

AMD is pitting the A10 series Richland chips against Intel's Core i5, while the A8 and A6 versions go head to head with the Core i3.

The top chip here, the A10-5757M, is a 35W quad-core part clocked at 2.5GHz up to 3.5GHz with AMD Turbo Core, and has 384 Radeon cores. Other parts are available at 25W, 19.2W and 17W.

AMD's new mobile platforms also include the specifications for a dock port that will allow a system to connect up to four external monitors using DisplayPort 1.2 and connect external devices via USB 3.0 ports. It will be left to third-party vendors to build docks, however.

"With the ability to connect external displays, keyboard, mouse and external drives, now you have a desktop replacement," said Marinkovic.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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