Processors

It has been more than a year since AMD launched its last major update to the top end FX processor line -- the FX-9590. The company has been quiet in the face of Intel's high-end launches, but today AMD is shipping a new CPU that's aimed at multi-core performance enthusiasts who don't want a furnace sitting on their motherboards, and prefer more modest power consumption and quiet computing. The new FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E are familiar in many ways. These cores are still based on the older Piledriver architecture that debuted in 2012, they can still process two threads per module and four... Read more...
We have been eagerly anticipating the release of processors based on Intel’s Haswell-E microarchitecture for quite some time. After about three years of incremental performance improvements at the ultra-high end, as Sandy Bridge-E was eventually replaced by similarly clocked Ivy Bridge-E based processors, the rumored specs of Haswell-E were enticing. Unlike Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge-E, which maxed out at 6 cores (12 threads) with desktops variants, Haswell-E would be an 8-core machine (16 threads), featuring execution units based on Intel’s latest microarchitecture. Assuming similar... Read more...
Competing with Intel's desktop or notebook processors is like taking on the proverbial 800 pound gorilla, but when it comes to resources, the company is more like an 800 pound gorilla on steroids, with advanced weaponry and a big budget.  Intel is a manufacturing and process technology juggernaut.  There was a time when the company would use that prowess to simply enable chips at higher clock speeds with larger memory resources. Since then, market demands have shifted to efficient computing, based on performance-per-watt metrics. With a strong X86 architecture in place,... Read more...
AMD updated its family of Kaveri-based A-Series APUs for desktop systems today. We first took an official look at Kaveri back in January, when we evaluated the A8-7600 APU. That particular APU is being re-launched today at a new price point, but AMD is also introducing a couple of new APUs as well, namely the A10-7800 and the A6-7400K. As their names suggest, the A10-7800 is a somewhat higher-end APU than the A8-7600 we initially evaluated, and the A6-7400K is a lower-end variant with fewer cores. The Updated AMD Kaveri-Based APU Line Up - Find Them At Amazon The complete breakdown of AMD’s... Read more...
Intel has been slowly releasing information about its Devil’s Canyon processors for a few months now. If you’ve been on top of the processor scene, you probably know that Devil’s Canyon is the codename for a new revision of Intel’s 4th Gen Core processors, based on the Haswell microarchitecture, that features a high performance polymer thermal interface material (TIM) and updated packaging materials, in addition to an array of additional capacitors to smooth power delivery to the core. Devil’s Canyon’s updates are designed to resolve some thermal and overclocking... Read more...
AMD has had a tough time competing with Intel on the desktop lately, but when it comes to mobile technology, in the notebook arena, performance, value and power efficiency are measured against a very different yardstick.  That's not to say that CPU throughput and IPC isn't important in a notebook, not by a long shot, but multimedia performance in these highly integrated designs can matter much more than desktop designs where discrete graphics engines are easily accommodated. Back in January of this year, we covered AMD's launch of their Kaveri core-based A8-7600 APU.  Targeted for... Read more...
It has been nearly a year since we visited ARM in Cambridge, UK, and the company recently held another tech day -- this time in Austin, Texas. During the three-day session, ARM covered a wide range of topics, with a primary focus on server ecosystems and next-generation mobile hardware. The company started off with an in-depth exploration of its CCN-508 server interconnect.  AMD and Intel don't really have an analogous chip to this -- think of the CCN-508 as the hub that all other CPUs, GPUs, network interfaces, CPU cache, and other components connect to. Click to Enlarge ARM has revealed... Read more...
A couple of weeks back, we got the chance to get some hands on time with AMD’s upcoming mainstream and low-power APUs (Accelerated Processing Units), codenamed Beema and Mullins. These APUs are the successors to last year’s Temash and Kabini APUs, which powered an array of small form factor and mobile platforms. With this release, however, AMD was laser focused on improving power consumption and efficiency, expanding the platform’s capabilities through both hardware and software tweaks, and of course improving performance over the previous generation. Beema and Mullins are based... Read more...
Last week, we took a trip to San Diego to meet with Qualcomm and discuss the company's cutting edge 20nm radios and upcoming Snapdragon processors. Unlike the already-launched Snapdragon 801 and 805, these are fundamentally new chips with updated CPU cores as well as Qualcomm's new Adreno 400-class GPU. Qualcomm is announcing two new chips today -- the Snapdragon 808 and the Snapdragon 810. The 810 will be the highest-end solution, with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 paired alongside four Cortex-53 CPUs. We've discussed ARM's big.Little implementations before -- unlike the designs we saw debut in 2012,... Read more...
NVIDIA's 2014 GTC (GPU Technology Conference) kicked off with a bang this morning in San Jose California, with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offering up a healthy dose of new information on next generation NVIDIA GPU technologies for the professional workstation, big data analytics, cloud computing, gaming and mobile markets.   As members of the press took their seats front and center, we were treated to a spectacle of sight and sound, NVIDIA-style and Jen-Hsun wasted no time diving in on the latest NVIDIA cutting-edge GPU technology advancements.  First, we've pulled together sort of a highlight... Read more...
Intel is announcing its new tablet and smartphone designs this week at Mobile World Congress, alongside a major push to drive adoption of its 28nm XMM 7160 and XMM 7260 modem technology. It's been two years since Intel launched its first serious Atom-based smartphone platform, codenamed Medfield, and it's safe to say that those two years haven't gone precisely as Intel intended. Originally, the company planned to have a solid market share built up by now. Instead, it's planning a major tablet initiative with multiple partners with a few possible smartphone SoC wins on the side. The chips that will... Read more...
For months, there have been rumors circulating of a new Intel 15-core CPU, with a particular focus on Big Data analytics, multi-socket systems, and the enterprise market. Well, this past January, we took a trip to Intel's SAP research lab to see the new processors and the rather substantial update coming down the pipe. Unlike Intel's mainstream and basic server products, the truly Big Iron hardware updates on a significantly slower cadence. Haswell chips launched eight months ago for desktop and the Xeon E5 v2 family, based on Ivy Bridge, has been available for months -- but the Xeon E7 processors... Read more...
Way back in 2006, after the ATI acquisition, AMD laid out its Fusion initiative and future plans to integrate a CPU and GPU onto the same processor die. The ultimate goal of Fusion was to seamlessly combine CPU and GPU resources into a single, cohesive compute engine equally adept at handling serial and highly parallel workloads. At the time, the idea seemed ambitious, but history has shown that more and more external resources have consistently been brought onto the CPU die (memory controllers, IO hub, etc.) and graphics would be no different. Since then, both Intel and AMD have quite... Read more...
Today is a big day for AMD. If you follow the company at all, you're probably aware that there's a new APU from AMD waiting in the wings. Today, AMD is disclosing more information about Kaveri, the first APU to support heterogeneous computing. Kaveri also includes a new CPU core, codenamed Steamroller, and the largest GPU we've seen in an integrated processor to date. This chip is particularly important for AMD because its the first major architecture update for AMD's big core program since Bulldozer launched in 2011. This new APU includes the TrueAudio technology that AMD launched earlier... Read more...
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