AMD uses SoC muscle to break into broader embedded market - Embedded.com

AMD uses SoC muscle to break into broader embedded market

At the ESC DESIGN West, AMD laid out its plans to move out of its niche in high end embedded designs and into the mainstream of more cost, power and performance sensitive segments with a series of single chip x86- and ARM-based system-on-chip designs.

It first step was reveal here in the form of its x86-based G-series, followed by a power-optimized version later this year. The first AMD G-series SoC includes a quad-core x86 processor based on the “Jaguar” 64-bit core, the Radeon 8000 graphics processor and an I/O hub that covers such I/O links as SATA, USB 2.0., DisplayPort and PCIe Generation 2.

The chip also includes 2-Mbyte of shared memory in L2 cache. The chip is being implemented in 28-nm CMOS technology. Effectively the chip is sufficiently powerful to drive tablet computers but is targeted at industrial and embedded applications.

While the first SoCs will be based on the X86, the company is also planning SoCs based on the ARM architecture as well.

According to Arun Iyengar, general manager of Embedded Solutions at AMD, in addition to integrating the I/O hub on-chip, the G-Series SoC provides a boost up in performance over the established dual-core G-Series APU, including a doubling of CPU performance and GPU performance improved by 20 percent.

The package foot print has been shrunk by about 33 percent as the design goes from two chips to one and an improved performance per watt in a similar thermal design profile. The operational temperature range has also been extended to the industrial range of -40 to +85 degrees centigrade.

The G-series will be available in five variants with two speed grades and with two or four x86 cores and a version with four x86 cores but with the graphics disabled for applications that do not need that capability.

In addition to support for such things as DirectX 11 and error correction of external code memory the G-series SoC offers OpenGL and OpenCL support which will make it attractive in many automotive infotainment applications.

In addition to auto infotainment, AMD is targeting the G-series at apps such as industrial tablets, machine vision, and in-vehicle systems, retail display and digital signage, point-of-sale, casino and arcade gaming, IPTV, storage appliances and security surveillance.

AMD expect to begin shipment of the AMD G-Series SOC platform within the next three months..

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