New details, early benchmark data revealed for 15W Kabini APU

Earlier this week at CES, AMD unveiled its 2013 mobile and desktop processor roadmap. One of the processors up the company’s sleeve is Kabini, a 28-nm, quad-core system-on-a-chip with a 15W thermal envelope. Kabini should start to pop up in ultrathin notebooks by the middle of this year.

Our Editor in Chief met with AMD at the show yesterday, and he was able to glean more details about the new APU—including some early performance data. A notebook running a Kabini prototype apparently scored 1019 in Musemage, an OpenCL-accelerated photo-editing application. For reference, I just got a 1770 score from an Asus UX31A ultrabook featuring Intel’s Core i5-3317U processor. Geoff obtained a 1243 score from the Core i3-3217U-powered Asus VivoBook X202E ultraportable (whose processor is admittedly hobbled by single-channel DDR3-1333 memory).

Now, Kabini will likely compete against cheaper—and lower-power—processors than the i3-3217U and i5-3317U. Kabini’s 15W TDP applies to the whole system-on-a-chip, including the integrated I/O, while Intel’s 17W Ivy Bridge processors require a separate platform hub. The HM67 Express PCH in our ultrabook has a 4.1W TDP, according to Intel’s website, so the Intel solutions’ total power requirements add up to 21.1W or so.

Kabini will also have a lower power envelope than E-series Brazos APUs, which are rated for 18W and require a 3W south bridge chip. AMD has implemented more aggressive power gating in Kabini, too, further reducing its power requirements. In all, the newcomer is supposed to offer a “significant” battery life advantage over 18W Brazos variants, all the while boosting both CPU and graphics performance by 50%. (AMD mentioned that we can expect a “nice uplift” in per-core performance.)

For what it’s worth, AMD expects Kabini to carry A6-, A4-, and E2-series branding, straddling ground currently occupied by entry-level Trinity APUs and high-end Brazos chips.

Temash, the sub-5W system-on-a-chip AMD showed in its roadmap earlier this week, appears to be based on the same silicon as Kabini—although it might use different process technology optimizations to achieve its lower power envelope. AMD plans to offer Temash in both sub-5W and 8-9W variants.

Comments closed
    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Geoff obtained a 1243 score from the Core i3-3217U-powered Asus VivoBook X202E ultraportable (whose processor is admittedly hobbled by single-channel DDR3-1333 memory).[/quote<] FYI: I just ran the MuseMage benchmark on NUC (i3-3217U) with dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory, and the score was 1345. So, memory bandwidth doesn't seem to have much of an effect here

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Just a thought. These low-power Atom and Bobcat chips are like a step back in terms of processor core technology. To achieve low power consumption, Intel and AMD cut down on features. For example, Atom (SIlverthorne, as it was called, I believe) went back to in-order execution and Bobcat cut down on the number of execution units compared to K10. These compromises help keep power down, but obviously performance also went down. Clock speeds also needed to be moderate to avoid wasting all the low-power microarchitectural work. And of course, there’s the process node which obviously helps a lot too.

    The thing is, moving forward, Intel and AMD also gradually beef up these relatively simpler designs. In essence, it’s like we have Intel and AMD, moving full steam ahead with their big cores (Ivy, Piledriver), but also offer simplified cores that took a few steps back to benefit power consumption but at the same time keep moving forward as well until, perhaps, they become as sophisticated as today’s big cores from both vendors. Alternatively, what if Intel just took the, say, Pentium or Pentium II, build it on 32nm, and see what happens? Or AMD could also take the K6, build it using 32nm and see how much power it used up and how fast it could clock? I know there are design details that prevent them from doing that but hey, it’s just a thought.

      • WillBach
      • 7 years ago

      That’s what Intel did when it made the Pentium M, start from the Pentium III and work from there instead of the Pentium IV. Shrinking yesterday’s high-performance design to make tomorrows low-power design doesn’t always work, though. Certain decision made regarding the execution engines no longer make sense in the context of power-saving, low-bandwidth buses and other I/O changes. Another aspect is the features and instructions expected by current operating systems: a certain level of SIMD support, certain security features, new page table sizes… that stuff adds up.

    • abw
    • 7 years ago

    entry-level Trinity APUs and high-end Brazos chips

    Is this possible..?…..

    • Plazmodeus
    • 7 years ago

    I had never heard of Musemage before. My PC got 11246 😉

    • stmok
    • 7 years ago

    For those who haven’t seen it…

    AMD’s 2013 roadmap.
    => [url<]http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/4998/amd2013roadmapzps90ed6b.jpg[/url<] I've already made a summary of performance as conducted by AMD Performance Labs. => [url<]https://techreport.com/news/24164/amd-shares-latest-mobile-desktop-roadmap?post=699847[/url<]

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    This should go nicely inside a T&L (not to be confused with Transform & Lighting) notebook (no, it’s not an Ultrabook<tm> either, since it uses a sacrilegious non-Intel CP.. er.. APU). If the wife only uses Office and runs Chrome, a shiny T&L notebook using this apoo should be the perfect gift.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Thin and Light?

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        Thick and Large?

          • dpaus
          • 7 years ago

          Tight and Loose?

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            All in one?

            • yogibbear
            • 7 years ago

            Tits & Legs?

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            I thought most people aim for the parts in between.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            “I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine.”

            • insulin_junkie72
            • 7 years ago

            Ahh, a (two-hit wonder) Murray Head reference!

            • dpaus
            • 7 years ago

            At least 3: ‘Say It Ain’t So’, ‘One Night in Bangkok’ and basically all of ‘Jesus Christ, Superstar’. I think ‘Mademoiselle’ and ‘Boy On The Bridge’ cracked the Top 40 too, at least in his home market (the UK).

            I got to be his roadie one night, and was rewarded with a private performance of ‘Sorry, I Love You’. best concert experience ever.

            • insulin_junkie72
            • 7 years ago

            In the US, only “Superstar” and “One Night in Bangkok” were hits on the single charts. I guess if it wasn’t part of a big musical, America didn’t care about Mr. Head…

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            Thanks for getting the reference and having my back. 🙂

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Kabini's 15W TDP applies to the whole system-on-a-chip, including the integrated I/O[/quote<] Is this true..? Brazos needed a chipset, and Fudzilla believes the Kabini chipset is called "Yangtze": [url<]http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/29934-top-kabini-28nm-apu-is-kabini-x4-5110[/url<] EDIT: Hard to find information about it, but here's another reference to a Kabini chipset: [url<]http://technewspedia.com/leaked-details-of-the-future-some-kabini-apu-amd/[/url<] [quote<] Kabini will be accompanied by a new FCH chipset (codenamed has not yet been revealed), which have the following characteristics: USB 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0. SATA-3 (6Gb / s). Secure Digital (SD). HD Audio.[/quote<] Also, they talk about TDPs... although maybe some of those are for Temash: [quote<]Are expected to have dual core APU TDPs Kabini 4.8, 5.9, 9 and 15W, while quad core models have TDPs of between 9 to 25W; FT3 use the new socket (BGA soldered directly on the mainboard).[/quote<]

      • Third_Eye
      • 7 years ago

      Kabini is a single chip SOC. APU + SB all in 1…

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Any link to more details? Because that “Technewspedia” link found was talking about an additional “chipset” that had USB, SATA… much like the “platform hub” on Brazos platform.

          • jdaven
          • 7 years ago

          Wait a minute. Your Fudzilla and Technewspedia links are from December and October of last year. Don’t you think they were going off rumors and were wrong now that AMD has unveiled the official roadmap this week?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      Integrated GPUs have code names, too. That’s all they are.

      [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/6567/amd-ces-2013-press-event-live-blog[/url<] "First quad-core SoC: Kabini"

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        That’s all they said; “SoC”. No details. I would say it’s still not confirmed that it doesn’t need some sort of a companion chip. It might be that they integrated PCIe I/Os onto the APU (hence the “SoC”), but other I/Os are still on a separate chip.

        EDIT: Damn, I hate the way Anandtech does these live blogs with the latest post on top. It’s such a pain to read after the live event is over..

          • Third_Eye
          • 7 years ago

          Traditionally the LPC – handling legacy connectors like Floppy, PS2, serial/parallel are handled by a separate chip.

          Nowadays “South Bridge” is the part of the chipset that controls SATA, networking, audio and USB. North bridge functionality was absorbed first by CPU with Integrated Memory controller followed by APUs.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            So… you say Technewspedia and Fudzilla are both wrong about Kabini having a separate chipset/platformhub/southbridge?

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<] USB 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0.[/quote<] I'm so happy this is an AMD product, because if Intel came out with systems that include USB 2.0 and 1.1, then we'd have to tranq Bensam123 and put him back in his padded cell (again).

      • jdaven
      • 7 years ago

      Stmok provided this link to a jpg of AMD’s roadmap.

      [url<]http://img849.imageshack.us/img849/4998/amd2013roadmapzps90ed6b.jpg[/url<] If true then it is a 'complete SoC'.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        No, actually, the roadmap explicitly states that Temash is a complete SoC, but doesn’t say that about Kabini. So, should we conclude that Kabini is [i<]not[/i<] a complete SoC, and requires a platform hub/south bridge for some of those I/Os..? If so, the platform hub consumes extra power as well, on top of that 15W Kabini TDP. Meanwhile, wasn't Haswell chipset integrated into the same package, at least for ultrabook versions? So, the chipset TDP would be included in the overall "package" TDP? I'm referring to this: [quote<]"Kabini's 15W TDP applies to the whole system-on-a-chip, including the integrated I/O, while Intel's 17W Ivy Bridge processors require a separate platform hub. The HM67 Express PCH in our ultrabook has a 4.1W TDP, according to Intel's website, so the Intel solutions' total power requirements add up to 21.1W or so."[/quote<] So, to me it seems that when Kabini/Haswell chips are out, Kabini actually has extra power beyond the 15W TDP due to the chipset, while Haswell's is all included.

          • jdaven
          • 7 years ago

          No Neelycam, you are not clicking the link. Look at the jpg before posting. Just look and read. Look at the yellow box for Kabini. Read every line.

          Edit: Here is the link to Wikipedia for Jaguar.

          [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Fusion#Jaguar[/url<] SoC for Kabini and Temash. Edit #2: SoC and Kabini are together all over AMD's presentation reported in this TR article. [url<]https://techreport.com/news/24164/amd-shares-latest-mobile-desktop-roadmap[/url<] Edit #3: Anand is reporting the same thing. [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/6567/amd-ces-2013-press-event-live-blog[/url<] "07:27PM EST - Kabini - 50%+ performance increase from Brazos 2.0, first quad-core x86 SoC, shipping 1H2013"

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            No, honestly, I DID click the link. Somehow my eyes just didn’t see the “Complete SoC” there. They see it now.. my apologies for the confusion

            • jdaven
            • 7 years ago

            Okay.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    For its intended market niche, Kabini looks to be very good.

      • cartman_hs
      • 7 years ago

      which market?

    • tbone8ty
    • 7 years ago

    This was in the press notes

    Kabini (Jaguar-based APU for ultrathin notebooks and SFF PCs)

    Testbed:* AMD E2-1800 APU (Brazos 2.0) with Radeon HD 7340 IGP=> 1.7Ghz, dual-core=> 4GB DDR3-1333=> Windows 7 Ultimate.

    VS* AMD A6-5200 APU (Kabini) with Radeon HD 8400 IGP=> ???Ghz, quad-core? (undisclosed!)=> 4GB DDR3-1600=> Windows 8 64bit.

    PCMark Vantage (Synthetic CPU test)=>

    E2-1800 APU (Brazos 2.0): 2807

    A6-5200 APU (Kabini): 5271

      • dragosmp
      • 7 years ago

      Nice find, it looks good. I hope Kabini can find a place on decent laptops if I’m to consider it, none of that 13*7 25Wh bull.

      Déja-vu? As it happened with Intel a few years ago (Yonah vs Prescott) AMD finds that Kabini is almost as fast as Trinity while consuming far less.

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