AMD Targets Low-End PC Market With New E-Series APUs

AMD used the Computex Taipei event in Taiwan Tuesday as a stage for unveiling its next-generation Brazos 2.0 E-Series APUs, optimized for entry-level notebook and desktop PCs.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD said the new E-Series offers several improvements compared to earlier E-Series APUs, including a 35 percent boost in battery life that can arm PCs with up to an 11-hour charge. The new Brazos-based APUs, which AMD has dubbed the E2-1800 and E1-1200, are also said to deliver up to 10 times faster data transfer rates than prior generations.

The E2-1800 and E1-1200 have a thermal design power of 18 watts and can reach clock speeds up to 1.7GHz and 1.4GHz, respectively.

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Delivering an enhanced multimedia experience was one of AMD’s top aims with the new E-Series platform, which it's referring to as its "most successful" to date. The new processors come equipped with integrated AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics and DirectX 11, an application programming interface (API) developers can use to accelerate games, Web browsing, video editing and other multimedia experiences.

"The PC is continuing to be the entertainment lifestyle hub and this trend isn't changing year over year," said Chris Sutphen, product marketing manager for ultra low power at AMD. "And as AMD looks to bring to market new products to deliver on this promise, we want to be able to continue on the momentum of the Brazos APU to deliver just that."

AMD Quick Stream technology, which is said to enable a "stutter-free," uninterrupted browsing and video streaming experience, is also included in the new E2-1800 and E1-1200 APUs.

Many of these multimedia and graphics perks will be applied directly to the new Metro user interface delivered with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 OS. AMD said it worked side-by-side the software giant to specifically optimize the new E-Series APUs for Metro-based apps and HTML5, one of the primary coding languages used to build content for the new release.

NEXT: AMD E-Series Aimed At Entry-Level

Unlike AMD's Trinity-based A-Series APUs, which are designed to fuel its homegrown Ultrathin notebook form factors, the E-Series is being targeted at entry-level or, as AMD put it, "essential" notebook and desktop PCs. Specifically, AMD's Sutphen said E-Series APUs will be used within devices that fall on the lower end of the price scale.

"When we look at what the market looks like, we are looking at addressing with the E-Series APU over 30 percent of the 2012 volume that’s going to be forecast below the $499 price point," Sutphen said. "We believe that these are going to be significantly growing markets and ones that we will need to continue to address with products that can relate to consumers."

According to Sutphen, Brazos-based APUs have been AMD’s best-selling product line to date, with more than 30 million units shipped to fuel more than 160 PCs since its launch last year. OEMs including Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba are said to be prepping systems based on the next-gen E-Series for release sometime in 2012.