AMD Boosts APU Lineup For Mobile Devices

The chip maker released three Mobile APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) for its A-Series and E-Series lineups, touting improvements in both performance and power efficiency for notebooks, tablets and hybrid products.

The new lineup starts with the 2013 AMD Elite Mobility APU, code-named "Temash," a 28nm, quad-core system-on-a-chip (SoC) APU geared toward touch small-form-factor notebooks, tablets and hybrids. Temash will be available as an A-Series APU in both dual-core (A4) and quad-core (A6) versions and will provide full HD touch-screen support for Windows 8 and the Windows Blue update.

[Related: AMD Spotlights A-Series Processors, First Windows 8 Tablet Chips ]

AMD said the new Temash APU will deliver up to a 172 percent CPU-performance-per-watt increase and a 212 percent graphics-performance-per-watt jump over previous APUs.

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There's also the 2013 AMD Mainstream APU, code-named "Kabini," a quad-core SoC solution for entry-level and touch-based notebooks. Kabini will be available in both the A-Series as a quad-core chip and the E-Series as a dual-core chip.

Finally, the third chip is a low-power version of the 2013 AMD Elite Performance APU, code-named "Richland," which is designed for better graphics performance on high-end notebooks and ultra-thin laptops. Richland will be available in the A-Series as quad-core processors.

Both the Temash and Kabini APUs are based on AMD's new "Jaguar" x86 CPU core architecture and use the chip maker's Radeon HD 8000 Series and Graphics Core Next graphics technology.

AMD said the new APUs will be available in HP and Acer products starting today. Along with the performance increases, the 2013 APUs will come with embedded software for new features like gesture controls and facial-recognition logins.

While AMD has put more focus on mobile computing in recent years, its APU products have struggled to gain momentum in the PC and tablet markets. Bill Hair, president of AMD partner My Computer Guy in Rockwall, Texas, said that while the APUs deliver solid performance, they've traditionally lagged behind Intel's counterparts.

"We do some AMD APU business but the demand hasn't been very strong," Hair said. "I love AMD and I think they have great technology, but when we compare the specs and do real-world testing with clients, there's still a small but noticeable difference compared to Intel chips."

AMD is hoping the new 2013 APU lineup will change that. The company claims, for example, that Temash will provide up to 45 percent longer battery life and nearly five times the graphics performance of similar Intel Core i3 and Atom processors.