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  Date: 03/06/2015

AMD inches ahead of Intel in notebook processor performance by launching Carrizo

If you are an AMD fan, you can be little happier now due to the launch of new sixth generation processors for notebooks. The new A series SoC class processors codenamed 'Carrizo' are designed to perform better than i series from Intel.

AMD has smartly combined graphics and traditional CPUs in such a way that they deliver higher graphic performance compared to its competition. AMD already has a stronghold in gaming market, and with this launch of new processor chips, AMD targeting what is now called immersive computing, where the graphics going to be even more immense.

Carrizo has four excavator CPU cores and a 8 graphic processor unit cores. AMD has enhanced the security feature in Carrizo by using a security processor core from ARM. Carrizo offers 2x performance over its competitors products in terms of battery life and processor performance. AMD is taking the full advantage of 14 nm and 16 nm finFET process for manufacturing its latest processors including Carrizo. Although much of the manufacturing is done by Globalfoundries, AMD is independent enough to take services from other foundries such as Samsung and TSMC. In another architectural innovation Carrizo gets rid of Northbridge Southbridge type interface. Carrizo embedds ARM Cortex-A5 core to provide enhanced security. Carrizo support High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) hardware decode, and also is the first Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 compliant design. Interesting user interface feature includes support for gesture control to navigate and control their notebook with a simple wave of the hand without added costs.

At the press meet in Bengaluru, Mark Papermaster, Chief Technology Officer of AMD shared AMD's strategies. AMD is not immediately keen on the mobile phone and tablets market. Three important markets for AMD now are datacentre, immersive computing and gaming. Mark also highlighted AMD's focus on industrial embedded systems market such as signage and automotive.

On the processor core architecture, AMD has a two pronged strategy, where it is working with both x86 as well as ARM processor cores.

AMD has leveraged its India's engineering talent resources lot more than many other semiconductor companies, they have played active role in developing Carrizo. AMD's Hyderabad and Bangalore team are working independently on many of the projects.

At the press meet, Mark also talked about development of even more advanced processor architecture AMD is building which is going to be available sometime during 2017.

AMD is pinning hope on growth of notebook market. Irrespective of however advanced tablets and smart phones you use, a notebook is essential for productivity. The big massive growth of notebooks might have been over, but it still looks there is scope for growth in notebook market, otherwise to say you need high performance computing platforms, which will work as a digital hub at your home/small office.
Author: Srinivasa Reddy N
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