AMD has unveiled an update to its line of APU chips designed for mobile devices, the Beema and Mullins APUs, which it claims will deliver better performance and efficiency for fanless tablets, laptops and hybrid devices.
In an attempt to rival Intel's Bay Trail mobile chip, which was announced in September, AMD's updated APUs are based on the firm's new Puma core, a budget equivalent to Intel's Centrino Duo.
The Beema and Mullins APUs update AMD's Kabini and Temash low-power system on a chip (SoC) processors that were launched in May and were based on the firm's Jaguar core, which is best known for powering both Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 games consoles.
Pitched at tablets and laptop-tablet hybrid devices, the "ultra-low power" Mullins APU update offers quad-core support but at a lower power consumption 2W Scenario Design Point (SDP), as opposed to the 3W to 4W SDP of the Temash APU.
While Mullins is intended for tablets and low-end convertible mobile devices, Beema – AMD's "low power essential" APU update – is aimed at the high-volume mainstream laptop market. According to AMD, similar power savings as seen in the Mullins APU are reflected in Beema, which replaces AMD's Kabini chip. Beema promises 10W to 15W power usage over Kabini's 15W to 25W.
AMD said both Beema and Mullins are optimised for running the Windows 8.1 operating system (OS) bringing support for Microsoft InstantGo which AMD claimed would provide faster wake times and help ensure data, such as e-mail, would refresh while in standby mode.
The new line of mobile APUs also brings additional security features, integrating ARM's TrustZone security processor technology based on its A5 chip, which AMD said protects users against software attacks from the open/rich OS side of the system.
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