Next-gen Brazos APUs sneak online

While putting together the latest system guide, we lamented the lack of a replacement for HP’s excellent dm1z ultraportable. The 11.6″ system is based on AMD’s Brazos platform, and even though it’s more than a year old, we’ve yet to see anything better at around $400.

AMD has a second-generation Brazos platform in the works, and the first ultraportable based on it has already popped up online. HP’s Malaysian site lists the dm1-4210au, an 11.6″ system with an AMD E1-1200 APU. The dual-core chip runs at 1.4GHz and features Radeon HD 7310 integrated graphics. It’s paired with an A68M platform hub, which CPU World claims offers both USB 3.0 and 6Gbps SATA connectivity. The dm1-4210au’s spec sheet lists only USB 2.0 ports, though. Let’s hope that’s an error; AMD has confirmed that USB 3.0 is part of the new Brazos platform, and SuperSpeed connectivity seems like a no-brainer for modern ultraportables.

According to CPU World, the E1-1200 APU has the same 18W TDP as existing Brazos chips. It also has a faster sidekick: the E2-1800, which will reportedly run its dual cores at 1.7GHz and feature “slightly faster integrated graphics.” Turns out the E2-1800 has made its way online, too, this time in an 11.6-incher from MSI. The company’s Japanese site details the U270 ultraportable, which pairs the E2-1800 APU with the last-gen A50M platform hub. That system has Radeon HD 7340 integrated graphics, suggesting a modest clock speed boost over the E1-1200’s Radeon GPU.

AMD has yet to reveal the Brazos 2.0 platform formally, but we already know that it’s a minor revision of last year’s design based on the same 40-nm fabrication process. Plans for a quad-core, 28-nm refresh were axed, and it appears we won’t get a substantial overhaul until 2013. That’s when a new chip dubbed Kabini is set to arrive with up to four processor cores, a GPU based on the Graphics Core Next architecture, and an integrated platform hub. AMD calls Kabini its “first real SoC,” and there will be a dual-core Tamesh derivative designed for “tablet/fanless” applications.

Comments closed
    • FuturePastNow
    • 7 years ago

    I dispute their use of the term “nest-gen.” This is Brazos 1.1, at best.

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Doesn’t this remind you of how AMD added a few MHz to the E-350 and called it E-450? I’m sure it fooled many laptop buyers into thinking they’re getting something much better.

        • swaaye
        • 7 years ago

        According to Anandtech, the E-450 got Turbocore boost on the GPU, with up to a 100 MHz max speed increase. It also supports DDR3 1333 instead of only 1066. The CPU only increased a pathetic 50 MHz though.

        [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/4660/amd-updates-brazos-with-e450-e300-and-c60-apus[/url<]

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        I’m curious as to how bumping the clockspeed up, and then correspondingly changing the model number to reflect that, is a sheisty business practice.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Cool. Brazos 2.0 should be ENOUGH for my computing needs because.. er.. because AMD says so. 😀

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]an AMD E1-1200 APU... dual-core chip... has the same 18W TDP as existing Brazos chips[/quote<] Why the hell would you start marketing a dual-core chip with an 18W TDP when you're about to release a quad-core chip (Trinity) with a 17W TDP??

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      Lower price?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      The 17w Trinity is dual-core. Quad-core goes down to 25w.

      And yes, it still looks silly, even compared to Llano dual-cores, but so does Atom compared to Celerons and Pentiums since Core 2 CULV.

      These things are just meant to be cheap, with pretty much every conceivable corner cut.

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        Ah; thanks for the correction. All the more reason for me to stick to the 35W quad-core Trinity.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          well, the 17w trinity is a dual module, 4 integer chip, is it not?

            • dragosmp
            • 7 years ago

            Nope, the 17W Trinity is a single module 2xinteger CPU. It would be interesting to find out if they’re full Trinity harvested dies or a single module design. If they’re harvested who knows, they may fuze off the “SMT” core and leave two full FPUs working along with the two INTs.

            A match between an 18W Brazos vs 17W Trinity should be interesting, but keep in mind that the Brazos APU is probably a quarter of the die size of Trinity. They probably would use the same chassis since they have ~identical TDP, with Brazos covering the low end.

      • Saribro
      • 7 years ago

      246mm2, GF 32nm SOI, standard cell + hand optimised (I’m assuming scavenged dies)
      -vs-
      75mm2, TSMC 40nm bulk, synthesised

      Looks like a 4x or 5x cost factor advantage easily.

      (edit: and I forgot to consider board cost advantages too.)

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        this ^^ is probably the best answer.

      • stmok
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Why the hell would you start marketing a dual-core chip with an 18W TDP when you're about to release a quad-core chip (Trinity) with a 17W TDP??[/quote<] Because the former is in a different target market compared to the latter solution. Brazos 2.0 * Aimed for low cost and low power...While providing "adequate performance". * Simpler design means high yields. * Uses 40nm Bulk process from TSMC. It's cheaper and mature. Trinity (17W) * Aimed for ultra thin portable market with a more powerful IGP and CPU cores. * Costs significantly more to make due to using a newer manufacturing process. (32nm SOI is starting to mature, compared to last year's mess.) * Lower yields due to greater architectural complexity of both CPU and IGP side. (Higher binning requirements.) Here's a hint about GF's 32nm SOI process... GlobalFoundries does not have the capacity to release all Trinity (desktop and notebook versions of A-series) [b<]and[/b<] Vishera (2nd gen FX series) simultaneously. AMD is forced to stagger its release schedule to allow for an adequate production run and resulting yields. ie: => Notebook A-series APU is released now; as OEMs love APUs. => Then Desktop A-series APU (August?); As they need to feed both OEM and Retail mainstream markets. (This is where AMD makes the bulk of their money!) => Finally, 2nd gen FX series. (November?); Enthusiasts are a much smaller market...They can wait. (FX and Opteron version of the 1st generation didn't make much money anyway! Its APUs that are keeping AMD alive!) Brazos 2.0 is really a pointless solution to the intelligent consumer. There are [u<]no major changes[/u<], and they're relabeling things like what has been done in the GPU market...Its a delaying product to buy AMD engineers time to work on their 2013 solution. (Kabini). When it comes to this specific product line (E-series/C-series), don't waste a dime on their 2012 rehash products. Save for 2013 releases instead.

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        Its well known that FX is being released in Q3, why are you saying November? You make too many assumptions. Why would staggering their release save on fabrication costs? Who said GloFO doesn’t have the capacity? GloFO is one of the largest 32 nm fabs in the world, easily the size of Intel’s biggest. It seems to me AMD wanted to release their most competitive product first so they can show some black on their earnings list. The desktop Llano and FX series are far less competitive in their respective markets so they will come later.

      • Hattig
      • 7 years ago

      Because it costs $40, not $200.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    Hopefully we’ll see this go into a new version of the Lenovo ultraportable (x140e?) with its superior screen and keyboard, though I have to say since Lenovo started offering an Intel i3 as an alternative my interest in Brazos for that model has diminished considerably.

      • k00k
      • 7 years ago

      Or, better yet, a Trinity-based X140e. :shutupandtakemymoneylenovo:

      My X61’s getting a bit long in tooth, with a flickering Thinklight and dying 8-cell batt.

    • Duck
    • 7 years ago

    You don’t need a quad core here. A 10W TDP would be nice. I’d like to see that drop further all the way down to maybe 5W by 14nm. There are not enough fanless notebooks in the world. Plus AMD should be moving in this direction anyway if they want to get into x86 tablets.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      They already have 5w single core and 6w dual-cores. When this moves to a high-k gate process, it should be able to reach that with the southbridge built in, as well.

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        And a 3W single-core due out soon, too.

          • Duck
          • 7 years ago

          Nice. Must be pretty low clock speed I’m guessing, but still nice.

    • pogsnet
    • 7 years ago
      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      yeah, but it’s essentially the same as the last version of brazos. they killed the upgrade which made me a sad pony 🙁

        • poulpy
        • 7 years ago

        A sad panda surely?

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          You never knew what friendship could be.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        This.

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        No it’s not. Brazos 1.0 didn’t have USB 3.0 on the chipset, IIRC. That’s a big deal, at least, to me it is.

      • khands
      • 7 years ago

      I wonder what the battery life difference will be between it and the 17W Trinity.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        this is an 18w chip, vs the 17w trinity, so…. it should be similar?

          • Goty
          • 7 years ago

          TDP != Power Consuption

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            of course it’s not EVERYTHING, but they correlate.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 7 years ago

            Mostly because the other parts in the laptop don’t change. :p

            We’ve seen for a while now that ULV parts don’t really accomplish much, aside from allowing a laptop to be thinner.

            Turbo boost screwed all of that up, as it increases the voltage and temporarily exceeds the stated TDP.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            With a laptop, you rarely see a CPU hit it’s TDP on battery mode. What’s more important is idle power draw and how effectively the CPU can adjust it’s clockspeed to give the user a good experience.

        • Sam125
        • 7 years ago

        Good question. That’s something to look out for when the reviews are out.

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