New AMD APUs foreshadow ARM-based offerings

Early this morning, AMD introduced its G-series embedded APUs. The chips, which I suspect are based on Kabini silicon, have four Jaguar cores, Radeon HD 8000-series integrated graphics, and power envelopes in the 9-25W range. Here's a quick look at their specs:

Product Cores CPU speed IGP speed TDP
GX-420CA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8400E Graphics 4 2.00 GHz 600 MHz 25W
GX-415GA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8330E Graphics 4 1.50 GHz 500 MHz 15W
GX-217GA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8280E Graphics 2 1.65 GHz 450 MHz 15W
GX-210HA SOC with AMD Radeon HD 8210E Graphics 2 1.00 GHz 300 MHz 9W
GX-416RA SOC 4 1.60 GHz N/A 15W

AMD says these offerings are targeted at "industrial control and automation, digital signage, electronic gaming systems, SMB storage, IP-TV, medical and network appliances, set-top boxes and more." Prices will be $49 to $72, depending on the product.

That all sounds innocuous enough, doesn't it?

Except that, as Engadget points out, there's something interesting going on with the logo for these chips. The little "X" in the lower right corner seems out of place... unless you account for the possibility that AMD will also release ARM-based embedded SoCs in the future. In that case, the "X" could signify x86 offerings, while potential future ARM-based chips could have a little "A" in the bottom right.

This may sound like idle speculation, but Engadget actually managed to confirm their hypothesis. Arun Iyengar, General Manager of AMD's Embedded Solutions Group, told the site, "Ultimately, we're going to have x86 and ARM in our product portfolio."

Well, I guess that settles it. In other news, I believe AMD is still kicking itself for the sale of its handheld and digital TV businesses, which included ARM-powered offerings and dedicated video processors inherited from ATI.

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