AMD shares latest mobile, desktop roadmap

At CES this afternoon, AMD shared fresh details about its mobile and desktop roadmap for 2013. The company revealed specs for Kabini and Temash, two low-power, 28-nm system-on-a-chip devices aimed at ultrathin laptops and tablets. The company also shared some details about Richland, Trinity's successor, which is "already shipping" to PC makers. Scott Wasson, our intrepid Editor in Chief, was on the scene and sent us his notes and photos.

Richland-based A8 and A10 APUs are slated to deliver a 20% performance increase over their Trinity-based predecessors. Richland systems will be spruced up with bundled AMD software, as well, including AMD Face Login, AMD Gesture Control, AMD Screen Mirror, and "AMD Optimized Games." Succeeding Richland in the second half of the year will be Kaveri, whose integrated graphics will be driven by the same Graphics Core Next architecture as the latest Radeon GPUs. Kaveri will be fabbed on a 28-nm process, down from 32-nm for Richland.

Kabini and Temash are perhaps more interesting, though.

Kabini is a quad-core system-on-a-chip—the first quad-core x86 SoC, according to AMD. It will power next-gen A4 and A6 APUs, and it should be more than 50% faster than existing Brazos offerings. (In case you're having trouble reconciling code names with products, Brazos powers the E2-1800 and E1-1200 APUs.) During an on-stage demo, Kabini even appeared to outperform Intel's Core i3-3217U—not bad, considering Kabini fits within a 15W envelope and is supposed to enable battery life up to 10 hours. AMD says the chip "has come up very well" and has already sampled to PC makers. The first Kabini-based ultrathin notebooks should be out by the middle of the year.

Temash, meanwhile, is meant to power a "new category of ultra-mobile devices." AMD points out that current x86 tablets are split between sluggish low-power silicon (a la Atom) and "re-purposed" notebook chips that add weight and bulk. Temash is supposed to offer the "best of both worlds," with up to twice the performance of AMD's Z-60 (a.k.a. Hondo) tablet APU in a similar thermal envelope—one that's low enough to enable fanless designs. Dual- and quad-core Temash chips should have TDPs below 5W; Hondo, by contrast, is rated for 4.5W. At the event, AMD showed a demo of Temash running DiRT Showdown on a 0.39"-thick tablet with a 10.6" screen. The game looked good and ran smoothly, which definitely bodes well for future x86 tablets.

AMD had other things to show. A Vizio representative took the stage to pimp the 11.6" tablet we told you about earlier today as well as a handful of other systems, including an all-in-one desktop and a pair of ultrathin notebooks. All of them had AMD APUs inside, naturally.

Oh, and AMD officially released its Radeon HD 8500M-, 8600M-, and 8700M-series mobile graphics processors today. We already covered those in December, and we even tested one just before Christmas, so you should already know all about them. AMD says the new GPUs will show up in laptops from Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung, with more vendors to follow in the coming weeks.

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