AMD To Offer G Series Embedded Solutions Next Year

AMD said on Tuesday it will offer the new G series embedded platforms early next year, as part of its Fusion strategy based on the development of accelerated processor units (APUs).

G-series is AMD's brand name for the company's eBrazos platform. AMD announcedat its annual Financial Analyst Day last week that Brazos would ship in the first quarter of 2011. The embedded platform is expected to augment the company's 64-bit embedded CPU/chipset business, which AMD says has enjoyed 350 percent growth over the last three years.

"In 2011, AMD will introduce its Brazos APU platform to drive down costs, offering a smaller, lower-power, lower-cost solution with exceptional graphics," Cameron Swen, senior product marketing manager at AMD, said in an interview with CRN.

The Brazos APU integrates AMD's low-power x86 architecture with the high-power parallel-compute engine GPU, creating a flexible, scalable solution.

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"A lot of embedded systems don't require graphics. For embedded apps that want good compute capabilities without the graphics, Open CL and other software applications can leverage that high-performance GPU," Swen said.

In addition to the G series, AMD's Fusion strategy determines much of its product roadmap over the next year.

"We're looking to offer a broad range of embedded solutions that leverage APUs. The R series solution due out next year will leverage our Llano APU," Swen said. "Also on our product roadmap for next year is our next Opteron product for servers, which leverage embedded applications."

AMD's offerings can be OEM-branded and will sell through typical distribution channels for the semiconductor market. Swen said that among applications of the Brazos platform, those relevant to the channel include SMB storage devices and digital signage solutions.

As examples of embedded applications utilizing Opteron, Swen cited enterprise-class storage, multi-disk arrays, military navigation systems, and medical imaging technology.

"AMD serves a lot of different embedded markets. We have our desktop groups, our server groups and our embedded groups -- which accounts for anything that’s not a desktop, notebook, or server," Swen said.

He added that AMD's solutions offer the advantages of longevity and low power consumption.

"The embedded solutions are for customers that need something with long-term availability and reliability," Swen said. "It's for those whose PCs don't provide the desired product availability in the long-term. Over time, new products will come and replace it, whereas you can buy the same digital signage solution three years from now."

Next: The History Of AMD's Embedded Solutions

Though the G-series will help reduce the footprint and the form-factor of AMD's embedded solutions, the company is building on a legacy of x86 embedded systems.

"AMD has been in the market for embedded solutions for a very long time," Swen said. "Since the 2003 acquisition of the Geode Group National Semiconductor and the release of the AMD Geo LX processor -- a very successful embedded solution."

AMD acquired graphics specialist ATI in 2005, at which time it added embedded solutions to its chipsets alongside its x86 architecture. "AMD began offering complete system solutions for embedded applications," Swen said. "We're still delivering low-power solutions but with exceptional performance."