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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
 AMD Unveils New A-Series APUs and SoCs
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Message Text: AMD today announced the first availability of the AMD Elite A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), codenamed "Richland," which support facial log-in and gesture recognition, improved graphics and compute performance over the previous generation, and enhanced power management capabilities on a single chip.

"The high performance AMD A-Series APU continues to impress with its ability to deliver stunning graphics and immersive experiences with even more battery life. Our engineers have done a superb job of increasing processor performance while decreasing power consumption," said Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's Client Business Unit. "With the capabilities built into our 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs, including new software for gesture control, facial recognition, rich entertainment and more lifelike gaming, we are delivering an ever richer experience to end users and our customers."

The new APU are designed to power notebooks and offer faster performance and improved power management in the same platform architecture as its predecessor, coupled with AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series graphics. The Richland x86 processors deliver between 20 percent and 40 percent more performance than Trinity chips, AMD has said.

The new AMD Elite A-Series APUs will accelerate a suite of software, which will come pre-loaded on select AMD Elite A-Series APU-based notebooks later this year and will be downloadable from www.amd.com next month.

They support new features including the following:

  • AMD Face Login - Uses facial recognition technology and a webcam to allow for quick log-in to Windows and other browser-based websites that require a log-in, like social networking sites and email services. This feature will only available on upcoming AMD A10 and A8 APUs codenamed "Richland" and upcoming AMD A6 and A4 APUs codenamed "Temash." It will only operate on PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system and Internet Explorer version 9 or 10.
  • AMD Gesture Control - Tracks a user's hand gestures and converts them into commands for basic functions on media players, browsers, e-readers and other popular applications leveraging a webcam, image processing and machine-vision algorithms. AMD Gesture Control is designed to enable gesture recognition as a tool for controlling certain applications on your PC. Available on upcoming AMD A10 and A8 APUs codenamed "Richland" and upcoming AMD A6 and A4 APUs codenamed "Temash," it requires a web camera, and will only operate on PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system. Supported Windows desktop apps include: Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer, Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Supported Windows Store apps include: Microsoft Photos, Microsoft Music, Microsoft Reader and Kindle.
  • AMD Screen Mirror - Wirelessly shares content like photos, videos, HD media streams and webpages from a PC or tablet based on a 2013 AMD A-Series APU with any supported TV or display with a DLNA receiver, or with other PCs. AMD Screen Mirror is designed to enable the transmission and display of your PC screen on other compatible networked "mirror" devices. It will be only available on upcoming AMD A10, A8 and A6 and AMD A6 and A4 APUs. Compatible Digital Media Renderer (DMR) devices are listed on the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) website with the "Play To' Receiver" feature and must also include H.264 and AAC support. Both PC and DMR device must be connected to a network that will permit content streaming. AMD Screen Mirror supports almost all popular image, audio and video file formats as well as applications showing on your PC screen, but will not mirror protected content. It also requires minimum screen resolution of 800x600.
  • AMD Video Entertainment Features - AMD Steady Video technology gives users push-button control over shaky home video and helps stabilize the images for better viewing; AMD Quick Stream technology enables smooth video streaming and a virtually interruption free streaming experience; and AMD Perfect Picture HD, creates rich and lifelike color on video entertainment. This optimized-for-AMD software will come pre-loaded on select AMD Elite A-Series APU-based notebooks later this year and will be downloadable from www.amd.com next month.

AMD Steady Video is a technology designed to eliminate shakes and jitters during the playback of home video. Users may turn on this technology via the AMD Catalyst Control Center or the VISION Engine Control Center application. It will work with content that can run on Adobe Flash Player 10.2 (and later versions) or on any player which has been programmed to use AMD's decode acceleration (DXVA) engine. AMD Steady Video is not designed to (a) isolate overlays, logos or captions, or (b) improve the playback of letter boxed, premium/commercial, or interlaced content. The feature is only recommended for use with videos that contain unwanted shakes and jitters.

AMD Quick Stream is a technology designed to prioritize video streaming over other activities requiring Internet bandwidth for a smooth, uninterrupted video stream. The technology is available on select PCs and requires Windows 7.

AMD Perfect Picture HD is an image, video processing and display technology that features advanced de-interlacing, dynamic contrast adjustment, color vibrancy, noise reduction and edge enhancement that promises to provide brilliant colors and sharp images for smooth playback of Blu-ray and other HD content on your PC.

Through engineering optimizations on the previous generation of theAMD A-Series APU platform architecture (formerly codenamed "Trinity") and updated graphics, the 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs feature significant performance increases along with support for new technologies including:

  • Visual and compute performance increases over the previous generation of AMD A-Series APUs;
  • AMD Start Now Technology for tablet-like responsiveness;
  • Improved AMD Turbo CORE technology with higher boost frequencies than the previous generation, for more performance when you need it and energy conservation when you don't;
  • Support for AMD Eyefinity technology, AMD Radeon Dual Graphics, and DirectX 11.

AMD Start Now technology is a BIOS optimized solution designed to deliver better system responsiveness by minimizing the time to wake up the system from sleep mode, boot the system to desktop and connect to a wireless local area network. The technology is available with select AMD APUs when running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

AMD Radeon Dual Graphics requires an AMD "A" series APU plus an AMD Radeon discrete graphics configuration and is available on Windows 7 and/or Windows 8 OS. Linux OS supports manual switching which requires restart of X-Server to engage and/or disengage the discrete graphics processor for dual graphics capabilities. With AMD Radeon Dual Graphics, full enablement of all discrete graphics video and display features may not be supported on all systems (e.g. AMD Eyefinity technology is not supported and OpenGL applications will run on the APU).

AMD's latest power management technologies enable more intelligent, higher compute and graphics core performance to help extend battery life. Building on the idea of AMD AllDay Power, the 2013 AMD Elite A-Series Platform enables up to 7.9 hours of web browsing, 5.7 hours of HD video playback and up to 10 hours of resting battery life on a 55 watt/hour battery.

The new Richland chips include quad-core A10 and A8 quad-core chips and dual-core A6 and A4 chips that operate at speeds between 3.1GHz
and 3.5GHz. The quad-core chips have 4MB of cache, while the dual-core chips have 1MB cache. The chips use 35 watts of power.
While 35 watts chips are considered power hungry for laptops, AMD will announce low-power A-series variants later this year.

First Quarter 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs
APU Model AMD Radeon Brand TDP CPU Cores CPU Clock (Max/Base) AMD Radeon Cores GPU Clock (Max/Base) L2 Cache Max DDR3
A10-5750M  
HD 8650G
35W
4
3.5GHz/ 2.5GHz
384
720MHz/ 533MHz
4MB
DDR3-1866
A8-5550M  
HD 8550G
35W
4
3.1GHz/ 2.1GHz
256
720MHz/ 515MHz
4MB
DDR3-1600
A6-5350M  
HD 8450G
35W
2
3.5GHz/ 2.9GHz
192
720MHz/ 533MHz
1MB
DDR3-1600
A4-5150M  
HD 8350G
35W
2
3.3GHz/ 2.7GHz
128
720MHz/ 514MHz
1MB
DDR3-1600

Performance and traditional notebooks based on these 2013 AMD Elite A-Series APUs are shipping now with availability beginning this
month in select regions.

In related news, AMD today agreed to sell and lease back its campus in Austin, Texas, to raise $164 million in cash and fund its chipmaking business as it diversifies beyond the struggling PC industry into new markets.

AMD has entered into an agreement to sell and lease-back its "Lone Star Campus" located at 7171 Southwest Parkway in Austin, Texas to 7171 Southwest Parkway Holdings, LP, an affiliate entity of real estate investment company Spear Street Capital. Upon closing, net of all fees, the sale is expected to generate approximately $164 million in cash. The proceeds are expected to be reflected in the company’s first quarter 2013 financial statements when reported on Apr. 18, 2013. At closing, AMD will enter into a 12-year lease with an extension option to continue its operations on the campus. The transaction is expected to close on or about Mar. 26, 2013.

AMD sold and leased back its headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, in 1998.

 
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