AMD sheds more light on Kaveri, announces new mobile Radeons

During a pre-CES press conference this evening, AMD revealed more details about its upcoming Kaveri APU. The company also provided an update on Beema and Mullins, its low-power mobile processors due later this year, and it announced a handful of new mobile Radeons.

We already had a decent idea of what to expect from Kaveri, but AMD hadn't gone into specifics about power and performance. During today's press event, AMD's Lisa Su revealed that Steamroller, the microarchitecture upon which Kaveri's CPU cores are based, delivers a 20% improvement in instructions per clock over the previous generation. She also disclosed that Kaveri's desktop incarnation will fit in power envelopes ranging from 45W to 95W. There was talk of configurable TDPs, as well.

We've known for some time that Kaveri will be the first AMD APU with uniform memory access, or hUMA—something AMD expects to yield substantial performance benefits in GPU compute apps. To hammer that point home, AMD invited Michael Meeks of the Document Foundation on the stage. Meeks showed an OpenCL-accelerated version of LibreOffice's Calc app running on Kaveri. He quoted a 7X performance gain on an A10-7850K chip, which is presumably one of the top-of-the-line Kaveri models.

In case you missed our previous coverage, Kaveri is hitting the desktop on January 14. Mobile versions will be out later this year.

Speaking of mobile, AMD's Lisa Su disclosed a few fresh tidbits about those Beema and Mullins chips we heard about in November. Su said the chips are "doing great" and have been "in labs for many months." She added that AMD is already sending out samples to its customers, and that we can expect to see Mullins inside 11.6" tablets.

Last, but not least, three new mobile Radeon GPUs were announced at the event: the R5 M230, R7 M265, R9 M290X. These sound like mid-range and high-end offerings, but your guesses are as good as ours. Scott was on the scene, and he says AMD didn't reveal specs. All we know is that a Lenovo notebook featuring the R5 M230 (sitting alongside a Kabini APU) will ship this month. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

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