AMD reveals 2014 APU roadmap for tablets, convertibles

We already know that AMD’s next-gen Kaveri APU is coming to mobile systems. However, the chip will only fit into power envelopes ranging from 15W to 35W. For the tighter TDPs suited to tablets and convertibles, AMD has a couple of other, lower-power chips planned—and it announced them today at its APU13 event in San Jose.

These low-power APUs are called Beema and Mullins, and they’re successors to today’s Kabini and Temash offerings. AMD says they deliver twice the performance per watt of their predecessors and are scheduled for release in the first half of 2014.

Beema will fit within roughly the same 10-25W power envelopes as Kabini. It will feature 2-4 processor cores based on Puma, the successor to the Jaguar architecture, as well as integrated graphics based on the same GCN guts as current parts. For what it’s worth, AMD describes Puma as an "evolution" of the Jaguar architecture that’s "not a significant departure" from previous-gen low-power cores.

Mullins is more exciting. It, too, will have 2-4 Puma cores and GCN graphics, but AMD will squeeze Mullins into a lower power envelope than Temash. The company quotes a "~2W SDP" figure, nearly half the 3-4W rating of the lowest-power Temash chips. The lower power utilization will allow quad-core versions of Mullins to power fanless tablets and convertibles.

I asked Gabe Gravning, AMD’s Director of Client Marketing, how Mullins would compare with Intel’s Bay Trail-T in tablets and convertibles. Though he steered clear of exact numbers, Gravning said AMD plans to be "very competitive," and he added that the company is "extremely bullish" about where it is in terms of performance and power efficiency compared to Bay Trail.

So, yeah. If all goes well, we might see more AMD-powered Windows slates next year. A Mullins-powered version of the Transformer T100 would be nice.

Higher performance per watt and lower thermal envelopes won’t be the only improvements in Beema and Mullins. The chips will also support InstantGo, Microsoft’s connected standby standard, and they’ll integrate an on-die "AMD Security Processor." That security component will actually be a Cortex-A5 co-processor with ARM’s TrustZone technology.

As I understand it, TrustZone works by splitting the processor into two virtual CPUs. One virtual CPU runs secure processes in what ARM calls the "secure world," while the other runs other processes in the "normal world." That way, secure processes shouldn’t be able to affect non-secure ones. According to AMD, the co-processor will enable a "programmable trusted execution environment" for a variety of applications, from secure booting and content management to online payments and malware protection. A "huge number of infrastructure and application capabilities" rely on TrustZone for security, AMD says.

See the image gallery below for higher-res shots of the slides above.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    Why doesn’t AMD enter the smartphone market? It’s not like the smartphone market is dying.

      • RDFSteve
      • 6 years ago

      Even the 2W TDP is quite high for a smartphone

        • dpaus
        • 6 years ago

        Neely, what’s the ‘TDP equivalent’ for the corresponding smartphone-oriented Intel chip? (I’m way too lazy to look it up, and I know you recite this in your sleep as you have nightmares of being endlessly chased by beer and wings…)

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          I’m not sure TDP matters, when responsiveness depends more on turbo (or “burst”) speeds..

          I’ve been thinking about the whole SDP thing, and although I was p*ssed off in the beginning because it seemed like cheating or dishonest marketing, I’m starting to see the point

          • bcronce
          • 6 years ago

          Smart phones are in in the 100miliwatt range, not 2,000. About a magnitude difference.

      • JumpingJack
      • 6 years ago

      At the moment they do not have a solution viable for the smart phone market, their lowest power chip is about 3-4x too high on power consumption. They have been very public about avoiding the smart phone market for now, this is the main reason.

      They will most likely explore an ARM based chip for that market when they get that program up and running.

        • Goty
        • 6 years ago

        Real power consumption of many cellphone-destined SoCs gets into the handful of watts under full CPU and GPU load, so AMD isn’t actually that far off. Their biggest issue is that they don’t have a baseband to integrate with the chips, which drives the total platform power up tremendously.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          Apple doesn’t have integrated baseband either, and their power consumption is perfectly fine. I’m not convinced that non-integrated baseband automatically means tremendously higher platform power… I’m starting to think it’s a Qualcomm marketing bullet point more than anything else

            • Goty
            • 6 years ago

            Yeah, “tremendously” probably wasn’t the correct word to use there.

      • frogg
      • 6 years ago

      They sold their Radeon mobile line to … Qualcomm which named it Adreno; and the deal is they are not allowed to enter this market. You can’t be more stupid.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 6 years ago

        As far as I know the entire deal was never made public. Do you have a citation? In all my reading on the issue I’ve never seen anything that conclusively answers either way. It also wasn’t the Radeon line but former BitBoys (then ATI Finland, now Qualcomm Finland) tech marketed under the Imageon name.

        Baseband tech if I recall correctly was sold to Broadcom.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 6 years ago

          Yeah, impeccable AMD timing as usual.

          • Maddoctor2
          • 6 years ago

          No, Broadcom got TV chipset and Cable Modem from AMD.

          • frogg
          • 6 years ago

          just go to “https://duckduckgo.com/?q=amd+qualcomm+adreno” ; wikipedia tells all; it’s sadly true.

        • Pwnstar
        • 6 years ago

        “Adreno” is a word scrambled “Radeon”

    • Hattig
    • 6 years ago

    Looking at the graphs, I would imagine this is a 20nm shrink of Kabini/Temash, with twice the GPU cores to double the performance, whilst taking advantage of the lower power requirements of 20nm at any given clock speed.

    When will this be launched and available in systems? Late 2014?

    Edit: Nope, it’s 28nm. Still. Wtf. I guess it might be available earlier than late 2014. It must be relying on a doubled GPU running at half the clock speed, in the Mullins chip.

    • jjj
    • 6 years ago

    The interesting details are in the footnotes of the press release:

    1. The new 2014 AMD A-Series low power APU platform, codenamed “Mullins,” is expected to deliver up to 139 percent better productivity performance per watt when compared to the previous generation “Temash” platform. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs on optimized AMD reference systems. PC manufacturers may vary configuration yielding different results. PCMark 8 – Home score divided by TDP (W) is used to simulate productivity performance per watt; the Mullins platform (4.5W) scored 1809 while the Temash platform (8W) scored 1343. AMD “Larne” reference platform system used for both APUs. Temash-based AMD A6-1450 quad-core APU with AMD Radeon™ HD 8250 Graphics, 2x2GB of DDR3-1333MHz RAM (running at 1066MHz), Windows 8.1, 13.200.11.0 – 03-Sep-2013 driver. Pre-production engineering sample of “Mullins” quad-core APU with next generation AMD Radeon graphics (model number TBD), 2x2GB DDR3-1333MHz RAM, Windows 8.1, and unreleased reference driver. MUN-3
    2. The new 2014 AMD A-Series mainstream APU platform, codenamed “Beema,” is expected to deliver up to 104 percent better productivity performance per watt when compared to the previous generation “Kabini” platform. Testing conducted by AMD Performance Labs on optimized AMD reference systems. PC manufacturers may vary configuration yielding different results. PCMark 8 – Home score divided by TDP (W) is used to simulate productivity performance per watt; the Beema platform (15W) scored 2312 while the Kabini platform (25W) scored 1861. AMD “Larne” reference platform system used for both APUs. Kabini-based AMD A6-5200 quad-core APU with AMD Radeon™ HD 8400 Graphics, 2x2GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, Windows 8.1, 13.200.11.0 – 03-Sep-2013 driver. Pre-production engineering sample of “Beema” quad-core APU with next generation AMD Radeon graphics (model number TBD), 2x2GB DDR3-1600MHz RAM, Windows 8.1, and unreleased reference driver. BMN-3

    So the wattage seem to differ from what you’ve been told (ofc some SKUs might have diff wattage) with Beema at 15W and Mullins at 4.5W.
    Perf wise they claims Beema is 24% faster than Kabini and Mullins is 35% faster than Temash in this benchmark and we don’t know the clocks.

    • dragosmp
    • 6 years ago

    “A Mullins-powered version of the Transformer T100 would be nice.”

    …with matte screen

    • Unknown-Error
    • 6 years ago

    Those slides are beautifully formatted 😉 :p

    On a serious note, so AMD also has jumped in the SDP bandwagon? Beema and Mullins, is what Kabini and Temash should have been, but as it is, they will be going up against 14nm Atoms, while AMD is stuck with 28nm for the entirety of 2014. Thats depressing.

      • raddude9
      • 6 years ago

      The “AMD is using SDP” thing was a big surprise to me but it also looks like AMD missed a trick. They should have invented their own new Design Power metric to make their chips look better.

      QDP anyone?

        • JumpingJack
        • 6 years ago

        They did long ago, it was called APC.

    • abiprithtr
    • 6 years ago

    super offtopic and on a lighter note…

    i can’t say how happy i am to see this article
    just when i thought we had pissed Cyril off enough with our gripes with his comment about using 4770K so that there won’t be another post on APU13

    now, let me read the article to find any nitpicks that i can pick on 😛

    • tipoo
    • 6 years ago

    I wonder if AMD could ever use eDRAM in thier APUs, as bandwidth is their clear APU GPU performance limitation. Is it just a fab capacity issue?

      • mesyn191
      • 6 years ago

      eDRAM is pricey and AMD has to price products low to sell anything.

      • Hattig
      • 6 years ago

      I think AMD are waiting for cost-effective silicon interposer technology, or TSV technology, to come along, so they can attach low power, high capacity DRAM to their APUs on the same package easily, rather than increase the size of their APUs even further.

        • mesyn191
        • 6 years ago

        That was supposed to happen last year but it fell through for some reason.

        I think cheap TSV’s are going to take longer than was initially thought to come out unfortunately.

        Until then AMD could always do a MCM like Intel or do a new socket with RAM soldered to the mobo. Or they could do it through the chipset which would probably be easier actually. Maybe cheaper too.

    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    The elephant in the room: [i<]Everything is 28nm![/i<] All I can say is "WTF...?" How do they magically expect to get 2x better power efficiency over the already-pretty-efficient-for-28nm Jaguar? Note also that Mullins has 2x the power efficiency in 3DMark over Temash, while half the power... i.e., same performance? Bay Trail is already 30% better (when looking at what MSI promises Temash tablet to offer). So, Mullins is losing to Bay Trail, and even moreso to the 14nm-whatever-Trail that's coming out in 2014. But, seriously, where is TSMC 20nm?

      • Theolendras
      • 6 years ago

      The gain from the core themselves isn’t where the most sensible power cut were made. Seems most of it comes from the rest of the SoC that is much less refined than Atom as it is, which makes sense, after all you get to integrate a lot of stuff in addition to a CPU in a Kabini/Temash style chip. In typical AMD fashion first generation or two are rough edge products that come into their own after a revision or two… Looks nice to me, hope they can get some significant design wins.

      • brucethemoose
      • 6 years ago

      Well power efficiency is crucial for the top of the x86 market (servers). The mid-range (desktop) market isn’t exactly a thriving, high-volume market for them. Cost and features are more important at the bottom end, and they can leverage stronger, more efficient iGPUs in this market. So with a 1 or 2 lithographic node disadvantage, it’s the best place for AMD to be, even if they are behind.

      So to answer to the first question… they probably can’t, but have no other choice.

      Meanwhile, TSMC is planning a raid on Intel R&D labs as we speak.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]TSMC is planning a raid on Intel R&D labs as we speak.[/quote<] Those scrawny engineers won't put up much of a fight... I hope they post videos of the raid to youtube. I love a good massacre

          • nanoflower
          • 6 years ago

          Which side is going to be massacred? The Intel engineers or the TSMC HR personnel(plus recruiting firms)? Neither side is likely known for their fighting skills

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      Mullins?

      MORE LIKE MULLIGAN!

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<] But, seriously, where is TSMC 20nm?[/quote<] The aptly named: Sir Not Appearing in this Roadmap But more seriously Neely, didn't you get the memo? 20nm is OLD. Everybody is just skipping it and jumping on 14nm which will be out years before Intel ever reaches 14nm... just ask Baron 😛

      • Goty
      • 6 years ago

      [url<]http://anandtech.com/show/7514/amd-2014-mobile-apu-update-beema-and-mullins[/url<] 20% better performance for 56% the power, actually.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    EDIT: Double post.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 6 years ago

    Was Temash a paper launch? I haven’t seen any tablets with a Temash APU.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      … should I say something…?

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 6 years ago

      It’s AMD. They release chips, cite design wins, and maybe one bargain bin product shows up for five seconds. AMD’s processor just don’t show up in consumer products. The Xbox and Playstations will probably be the first devices that feature AMD processors to sell in large numbers.

      There was one Temash tablet, but I don’t remember what it was or who produced it.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        There were three Temash tablets. AMD’s reference design was made by Quanta. Gigabyte was showing one a few months ago (no release date). MSI has been talking about one, and even has a marketing page for it with 3DMark Ice Storm score (no release date)

      • frogg
      • 6 years ago

      Or Slideware; but perhaps that’s how they managed to get a $500 million credit ; delivering real parts is another business… I’m still waiting for my Kabini Asus XS-A mini-ITX motherboard announced at Computex in June. At this rate, Bay-Trail desktop motherboard will be there sooner and it will be game over.

    • tbone8ty
    • 6 years ago

    AMD just put me in their friendzone.

    • tbone8ty
    • 6 years ago

    how many temash products did they sell this yr so far? like 2 ?

    is temash even available in a tablet? where’s the temash convertibles with turbo dock?

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      I would really like to say “Was NeelyCam right”, but I’m worried that I end up being wrong… I predicted Temash tablets will be out in October +/- 1mo…

      Now it’s looking like they’ll be even later than that

        • tbone8ty
        • 6 years ago

        No one picked up the temash because of bay trail…it even plays games decent enough.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          If it was because of Bay Trail, Mullins’ situation is even worse… it’ll go against Intel’s chips that are two nodes plus a FinFET upgrade ahead.

    • sschaem
    • 6 years ago

    Rant ON

    I think AMD being able to supply Sony & Microsoft with 10s of millions of state of the art SOC will warm up some OEM to trying to support them again…

    And I really hope AMD was able to have their logo show on the new consoles, even if its just a for a second on a cold boot… I mean AMD almost is giving away those SOC, they should get some branding recognition out of it.

    The silly thing is that a single game title has probably as higher margin then AMD is getting on their SOC… $60 game, $40+ profit with relatively small R&D cost (compared to delivering a highyl custom 5+ billion transtiror SoC).
    \We know that AMD doesn’t get much more after paying TSMC… 85% of the SoC cost is paid to TSMC. This mean AMD gets about $20 at most per consoles.

    GT5 made more profit in a week then AMD did in the past decade,
    How does that make any sense.

    Reality, how many out of the 80 million xbox 360 users know its AMD powered?
    How many of the 100 million Nintendo Wii users know its AMD powered?

    AMD get little to no brand recognition in those deals…

    And with the Xbox one & PS4, AMD got some priceless branding opportunity to prop up the company.

    So many people (for valid but also baseless reasons) have been slamming AMD since the bulldozer fiasco… AMD need to rebuild its image, this is a perfect opportunity.

    But I have a feeling AMD got nothing out of the deal and only the geek will know that those machine are AMD powered, the rest will think Microsoft & Sony designed those machines from the ground up… And AMD will stay in obscurity, with those little red stickers on laptop and tablet being a negative toward consumers VS a cool factor.

    Rant OFF

      • DPete27
      • 6 years ago

      “PS4/XBOne – Gaming Evolved”

        • Antimatter
        • 6 years ago

        Since AMD gutted their marketing department this would be a good opportunity for them.

        “PS4/XBOne – Powered by AMD Radeon”

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]I think AMD being able to supply Sony & Microsoft with 10s of millions of state of the art SOC will warm up some OEM to trying to support them again...[/quote<] Here is a thought, with AMD seemingly going down exclusively the APU route, it is quite conceivable that AMD abandons the DIY market entirely and focus's entirely on custom solutions for other companies finished products like MS/Sony/etc. They would basically become a fabless IBM.

      • Voldenuit
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]I think AMD being able to supply Sony & Microsoft with 10s of millions of state of the art SOC [/quote<] Wait. You mean their "next generation" consoles that can't play COD:Ghosts at 1080p? Like the PS4 that's choppy (at 900p) and the Xbone that's smooth but running at a decidedly last-gen 720p? On a game that [url=http://www.hardwarepal.com/call-duty-ghosts-benchmark-cpu-gpu-performance/4/<]a $170 graphics card (before rebates) has no problem maintaining 60 fps @ 1080p on PC?[/url<] Or do you mean "state of the art" like how the Oculus Rift guys are saying the Xbone and PS4 don't have enough horsepower to support? Xbone and PS4 may have some nice games lined up, but their hardware is hardly "state of the art".

        • Mr. Eco
        • 6 years ago

        “state of the art SOC”, the key word being SOC. When evaluating them you must account for these being SOC, not full blown PCs in 1/2 cubic meter cases with 6-7 fans.

        • nanoflower
        • 6 years ago

        While I know AMD has problems competing head to head with Intel’s top of the line CPUs I don’t think that applies here. The problem with the performance of the APU in the Xbox One/PS4 comes from a couple of things. One is the need to lock in a design a long time ago that merges the vision of AMD and Sony/Microsoft.

        Then there is the issue of the size of the consoles and what sort of fan is provided. We know that they’ve got that centrifugal fan in the PS4 that blows air through the case to help cool the APU and I imagine that the XBox One has something similar. That fan isn’t going to be allowed to sound like a jet engine and it’s the only fan in the console. Which limits the amount of heat the APU can generate. I bet if we could take the same APU and put it into a PC we could crank up the clock on it quite a bit. It still wouldn’t beat an I5/I7 matched with a good GPU but I do believe that an OCed PS4/XboxOne APU would easily give you the 1080P with COD:Ghosts even in the game’s current state.

        • M3gatron
        • 6 years ago

        COD:Ghosts is just a bad joke. Poorly optimized. Even fast PC’s seem to struggle with this game although it has average graphics at best.

      • BaronMatrix
      • 6 years ago

      Forbes reported that AMD will make $3-5 BILLION next year off of XB1 and PS4… Google it..

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        Meanwhile they just had to acquire a half billion dollar line of credit.

        • sschaem
        • 6 years ago

        Thats revenue. We now know that 85% of that goes to TSMC and other licensing cost.

        And AMD never made money out of those deals.
        Look 100 million Wii and the 80 million Xbox360 sold so far.
        This revenue is going away and just being replaced with the ps4 / xbox360.

        So AMD revenue wont change much, even AMD said Q4 revenue will not grow more then 5% (+-3%)
        So AMD potentially see that Q4, even with the R9, Kaveri and continue console sale to be flat.

        So console profit are really just enough for AMD to make interest payment on the 2+ billion loan they have.

      • Theolendras
      • 6 years ago

      Come to think of it, I would’nt want the world know that if I were powering the Wii…

      But still AMD need design wins more than anything. Enthusiast already knows about them, most aren’t putting their money towards them for now… For the general public nowdaways, they will buy anything that is up to the task in a nice package, and that is the work of OEM to make provide design that does convince the average consumer.

      Give me a Mullins fanless tablet with Windows 8.1 that plays Civ 5, Diablo III and Starcraft II at medium details and some indie games and you’ve got yourself a winner. Unless Airmont ship in the same window and can put up a fight in the GPU departement, then I’ll be grace with a choice.

    • Meadows
    • 6 years ago

    Regarding TrustZone, I assume the secure software (such as booting, content management, or online banking) was written by human beings with access to some knowledge that’s in existence (if not in circulation).

    What is it, exactly, that stops another malicious human being with access to the above knowledge from coding for TrustZone? Does every single piece of “secure code” undergo screening by a common vendor, say, Microsoft? Even if so, what stops a malicious programmer from faking a trusted license or identity?

    This needs better explanation from someone who knows more.

      • BaronMatrix
      • 6 years ago

      It’s HW based like a HyperVisor…

      Or like the difference between Ring 0 and RIng 3 in X86… I’m sure it hooks into that to make any “windows” calls while the ARM chip runs underlying connections for remote…

        • willmore
        • 6 years ago

        So, you just blue pill it and bob’s your uncle. Good to know.

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]I asked Gabe Gravning, AMD's Director of Client Marketing,[/quote<] Why didn't you use the opportunity to ask "WTF is going on in the desktop game plan? Is AM3 successor dead? Have you completely given up on the performance crowd?"

      • DPete27
      • 6 years ago

      Answer: “Yes, we cannot compete with Intel in the high end performance category. It’s all APUs from here on out.”

        • James296
        • 6 years ago

        if that is true then I guess better buy a intel cpu while I can [b<][u<]still[/u<][/b<] afford it.

          • Pwnstar
          • 6 years ago

          No need. ARM will replace AMD as Intel’s boogeyman.

            • Diplomacy42
            • 6 years ago

            no, it really wont.

        • Star Brood
        • 6 years ago

        If Intel decides to not innovate, themselves, then I’ll just stick with my Xeon 5160’s until something really compelling comes out. As it stands, the games I play just don’t tax my CPU except for StarCraft 2 which will hopefully one day get an engine update that distributes its processor workload to more cores or offloads a lot of the computations to the GPU. I’m not going to upgrade my CPU for one game, even though it may be my favorite game.

      • BaronMatrix
      • 6 years ago

      These chips go beyond the classic desktop for high volume applications… Kaveri is the next FX\Opteron… They already set the pattern of dropping the new APU first with Velocity… This case adds a new CPU arch also…

      Since they are talking about taping out 20nm and 14nm in the next few months, we’ll probably get the Excavator APU next year this time… I expect Computex to have a new 28nm FX..

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        We will probably get a 4 “core” Excavator and personally I have no use for an APU.

          • DPete27
          • 6 years ago

          FX chips and APUs are pretty much the same, they take an APU, remove the IGP that takes up almost half the die space, and plop on another 4 “cores” => viola! now its an FX.

      • tbone8ty
      • 6 years ago

      I would totally buy a 28nm 8-core steamroller FX chip!

      I just slap it in my am3+ mobo.

      Just like Intel….oh wait nm

    • MadManOriginal
    • 6 years ago

    I pray that AMD codenames an APU ‘Nahasapeemapetilon’ some day.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Naga.. Naga… Not gonna be on this roadmap anymore!

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Who’s down with SDP?
    EVERY LAST HOMEY!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah you know me.

        • quasi_accurate
        • 6 years ago

        The same OG.

    • sweatshopking
    • 6 years ago

    Before making more chips, they should first find somebody to actually make a tablet with them!

      • tahir2
      • 6 years ago

      If they build it, they will come!
      And it will need to be something extremely competitive in price, performance, availability and features.

      • ronch
      • 6 years ago

      Hey! You’re back! What happened to you??

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        Geez, it took you a while to wake up. Starbucks ran out of coffee?

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