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AMD's powerful new G-Series embedded processors packs up to two 40 nm Bobcat cores, clocked up to 1.5 GHz, and an on-die DirectX 11-capable Radeon 6xxx series GPU  (Source: AMD)

The chips could make their way into slot machines and other devices.  (Source: Baccarat Forums)
Processors will power small form-factor PCs, casino machines, and more

While flashy PC CPUs have long grabbed most of the media attention, embedded CPUs have become an integral business for chipmakers like Intel.   AMD has over the last decade become a critical competitor in this market, with designs like its Geode and 64-bit embedded Opteron chips.

Today AMD announced [press release] its latest and greatest state of the art embedded processor lineup, the G-Series, its answer to Intel's 45 nm Sodaville and Tunnel Creek embedded processor lines.

Intel's Sodaville is a single-core processor based on the Atom core commonly found in netbooks.  It is perhaps best known as the processor powering Sony's Internet TV.  It features an on-die SGX535 GPU from PowerVR -- the same GPU found in the iPhone.  It is clocked at 1.2 GHz (Tunnel Creek models are clocked at 600 MHz to 1.3 GHz).  Its GPU can only support OpenGL 2.0 and DirectX 10.1 Shader Model 4.1.

By contrast, AMD's new line supports DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0, and OpenCL.  The units pack the Bobcat core, the same core design found in Brazos chips -- AMD's Fusion processor for laptops.

Whereas Intel currently does not offer dual-core embedded processor, AMD is offering both single-core and dual-core variants of its G-Series SoC.  The various models, along with clock speeds and power consumption are seen below, direct from AMD:


The tradeoff seems to be the power consumption -- Intel's Sodaville cores only suck down 7 watts, versus at least 9 watts for the T4xR, T5xR, T4xN, and T5xN models.  The dual core designs draw a whopping 18 watts (besides the lower clocked 1 GHz dual-core T40N).

The higher power consumption comes largely due to the clock speeds and graphical power.  Given that power, it is actually somewhat low, thanks to the small 40 nm processor size.

The higher power requirements could be acceptable in exchange for the better graphics and processing power in some cases -- such as in fancy casino machines, sales kiosks, or small-form factor PCs.  AMD is showing of a demo unit on YouTube [video].  

It is possible a processor like this could be used to drive next generation gaming handhelds.  AMD spokeswoman Teresa Osborne tells us, "Next-generation gaming consoles are not currently a market where we have a design win with this new APU. That is not to say that the AMD G-Series wouldn't be an excellent solution in that space. We do have considerable traction in markets like casino gaming, where the high-quality visual experience is increasingly important, along with reliability and security that benefit from the x86 solution."  

Another possible market AMD could expand into is the world of in-car graphics (such as the touch-screen displays found on the MyFord Touch Edge and upcoming Tesla Model S), as well.  AMD's spokeswoman tells us, "Some small form factor PCs referenced are in the area of miniaturized, fanless systems that are still providing the full consumer-class PC experience. These could be used in industrial environments, in vehicles, etc. for example."

Patrick Patla, corporate vice president and general manager, Server and Embedded Division writes in the company's press release, "AMD’s commitment is to ensure the game-changing technologies we develop for consumers and the enterprise are also available for the vast and growing embedded market. Today, we have a record number of embedded launch partners. They are using the unique advancements of the AMD Embedded G-Series APU to develop a brand new generation of highly differentiated, energy-efficient, small form-factor embedded systems that can deliver the vivid visual experience expected in our always-connected world."

AMD is currently grappling with a leadership change (CEO Dirk Meyer was outed) and rushing to try to meet a mid-2011 launch of its more powerful upcoming Bulldozer architecture, aimed to compete with Sandy Bridge on desktops and high end laptops.


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RE: I see people write comments here...
By Aloonatic on 1/21/2011 5:37:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'll use whatever turn of phrase that I like, on an informal, internet forum. K?! Thanks, bye :o)


RE: I see people write comments here...
By vol7ron on 1/22/2011 9:48:44 AM , Rating: 1
You're bringing up Apple and its uses in an AMD article. This isn't the time to be talking about Apple's uses. The market is stupid and easily buys into media propaganda and that's why Apple has high sales. It's a social and a class thing.

While you can say that Apple has its uses, that should be the standard for any product in the market place. You're not buying a sugar pill, it's not a placebo. It has a core set of functionality. But when compared to its competitors its options are limited when you want to do anything that goes against the grain or something more advanced.

The major problem Apple is facing is transferability. Apple, like Sony, offers a closed line of products. If you start buying into their software, you can only use them on their products - horrible idea. On the other hand, with Android and Microsoft, there are a lot of manufacturers that run those OSs. That means when your product breaks, is lost/stolen, or you want to upgrade, you don't lose all your software purchases. You can get the greatest device at the time or switch manufacturers that offer other functionality/warranties and keep what you paid for.

Buying Android/Windows is a strategic decision that you may be overlooking. Yes, Apple can do things, many of the same things that competitors can do (at a higher price), but you're missing what it can't do, which shows your fanboyism.

BTW the major point of this article was having a low powered, high performing x86 line. This would be able to handle TRUE multitasking, unlike that save-place shit that Apple offers. Just try loading a web page then switching to a book to pass the time when the page loads, then go back to Safari and see how the page either needs to reload, or never loaded in the background. It's not multitasking, all they did was make a shortcut bar of recently used programs and allowed for audio multitasking.


RE: I see people write comments here...
By Aloonatic on 1/23/2011 8:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
DUDE. READ MY FREAKING COMMENTS PROPERLY, RATHER THAN SEEING THAT I MENTION APPLE AND DON'T SLAG IT OFF, SO ASSUME THAT I AM SAYING THAT IT IS THE BE ALL AND END ALL AND THAT I MUST BE SOME APPLE FANBOY SAYING THAT THE IPAD IS THE GREATEST DEVICE EVER...

I WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT APPLE USES.

I WAS TALKING ABOUT TABLET USES.

THE ONLY REASON THAT I MENTIONED APPLE WAS TO MAKE THE POINT THAT AS THE IPAD IS THE ONLY REAL TABLET ON THE MARKET AND (SADLY) AS MANY HERE ARE SO BLINDED WITH THEIR PETTY APPLE HATE, THE POTENTIAL OF THE TABLET DEVICE IS ALMOST IGNORED COMPLETELY. TO THE POINT WHERE PEOPLE MAKE THE SUGGESTIONS THAT THEY DID ABOVE, USING A FUSION CHIP ETC TO MAKE A COOKBOOK PC? SERIOUSLY, A TABLET OF ANY SORT WOULD BE A FAR BETTER SOLUTION FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE. YET PEOPLE HERE STILL SAY THAT TABLETS ARE A WASTE OF TIME, THERE'S NO USE FOR THEM...

AAAHHHHH!!!!!!

JESUS. STOP BEING SO STUPID!!!

PLEASE.

JUST FOR A SECOND.

PPLEEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!


By vol7ron on 1/23/2011 5:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
No... they're not a waste of time; they're a waste of money. They aren't worth the price yet. There's only a small set of uses where the form-factor improves the performance of using such a device, such as in a tight space (like a Kitchen, as you said).

It's still not worth it when you can spend less $$ on another device that can do the same stuff and more.

REALLY CAN YOU USE MORE CAPS. I THINK YOU NEED TO. AHHHHHH! FAIL AND SAUCE


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer














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