New AMD embedded roadmap shows 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 chip


— 9:40 AM on September 10, 2013

As Intel's Developer Forum kicks into gear in San Francisco, AMD is making waves to ensure it doesn't stay out of the headlines. The underdog has disclosed a new embedded roadmap that teases, among other things, an upcoming ARM Cortex-A57-based system-on-a-chip.

Code-named Hierofalcon, this SoC will apparently feature up to eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores clocked as high as 2GHz. It will have dual 64-bit memory channels with DDR3 and DDR4 compatibility as well as ECC support. Also included will be 10-gigabit Ethernet, PCI Express 3, ARM's TrustZone security technology, and a "dedicated cryptographic security co-processor."

AMD expects Hierofalcon to sample in the second quarter of next year and to hit production in the latter half of 2014. The company touts the chip as the "first 64-bit ARM-based platform from AMD targeting embedded data center applications, communications infrastructure and industrial solutions." You probably won't see this puppy in smartphones or tablets, in other words, but it is nonetheless one of the first fruits of AMD's partnership with ARM.

The new AMD roadmap also teases three other products—two x86 APUs, Bald Eagle and Steppe Eagle, and a discrete embedded GPU, Adelaar—which are all due in the first half of next year.

Bald Eagle is an embedded x86 processor for digital signage and "embedded digital gaming" applications. It will feature up to four cores based on AMD's next-gen Steamroller architecture, and it will be available with and without integrated Radeon HD 9000-series graphics. AMD claims to have implemented "new power management features," including a configurable thermal envelope, in the chip. (The roadmap says Bald Eagle's TDPs will range from 17W to 35W.)

Instead of Steamroller cores, Steppe Eagle will include up to four cores based on an "enhanced" version of the low-power Jaguar architecture. (Jaguar, as you might recall, premiered in Kabini a few months ago.) Steppe Eagle will also have "new features for increased CPU and GPU frequency." AMD promises performance-per-watt improvements at lower TDPs and a peak speed "above 2GHz." Steppe Eagle will be compatible with boards and software designed for the current, Jaguar-based G-Series embedded APUs.

Finally, Adelaar will deliver discrete graphics in a choice of MCM, MXM, and PCI Express form factors. It will feature a Graphics Core Next GPU accompanied by up to 2GB of "pre-qualified and integrated" GDDR5 graphics memory with peak bandwidth of 72GB/s. AMD plans to continue offering Adelaar for seven years.

   
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