AMD Talks Up The Carrizo APU At ISSCC

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 24 February 2015 at 09:29 AM EST. 44 Comments
AMD has released more details on their forthcoming "Carrizo" APUs from the IEEE International Solid-State CIrcuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

The Carrizo hardware won't be in the hands of the public for months but AMD talked up the Carrizo APU with it featuring "Excavator" CPU cores, GCN graphics, and the Fusion Control Hub (FCH / Southbridge) all on the same chip. Carrizo is going to be the first true HSA component.

While Carrizo is being spun at a 28nm process, AMD believes they've juiced out big power efficiency gains and they've squeezed in 3.1 billion transistors with the same die size. The expectations set by AMD is that the new APUs will have around 20% better performance and 5% better IPC performance while consuming 40% less power than Kaveri.

Carrizo will support Mantle, DirectX 12, and glNext as far as the new graphics support. There will also be H.265 support with the R-Series graphics but there's no word (sadly) on VP9. Carrizo will also still integrate AMD TrustZone technology for better system security.

When it comes to the Linux support for Carrizo, work is underway. GCC and LLVM/Clang already handle Excavator / Bdver4 tuning for optimizing generated binaries against the new AMD processor cores, there's already a thermal driver, and the AMDKFD HSA kernel driver has been prepping for Carrizo. The big piece of the open-source puzzle still missing is the new AMD GPU kernel driver that will not only be needed for the open-source graphics support but also the new Catalyst driver. We're still waiting to see this new AMD kernel driver but have not received any further updates when it will be released for supporting the R9 285 Tonga, Carrizo, and other future AMD graphics products.

As always, stay tuned to Phoronix for the latest Linux hardware news, benchmarks, and graphics driver information.
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