AMD just released some details regarding its upcoming seventh generation of A-Series and FX APUs, formerly codenamed Bristol Ridge. Bristol Ridge is essentially a refresh of the previous generation Carrizo design and uses the same 28nm process. In lieu of a die shrink, however, AMD has made improvements to the manufacturing process, tweaked the transistor mix, and enabled new features that were previously dormant in Carrizo, and the end result is higher frequencies at a given power level, in addition to some IPC (instructions per clock) improvements. The newly activated features within Bristol Ridge include adaptive voltage frequency scaling, among other undisclosed features.
AMD Doubles Down on APU Advancements
Excavator cores will be used top to bottom in the 7th Generation AMD APU lineup, in both dual-core and quad-core configurations -- these chips are not based on the highly anticipated Zen cores. The provided slide below demonstrates a comparison of individual 35W TDP processor cores across three generations of APU. AMD boasts up to a 50% improvement over a span of two years with Bristol Ridge, specifically when compared to the Kaveri architecture, which was initially released in 2014.
On the graphics front, there are improvements as well. The seventh gen APUs will use DDR4 memory allowing for significantly increased memory bandwidth available to the GPU portion of the chip. Additionally, the increased clock speeds courtesy of the aforementioned tweaks to the APU’s manufacturing process carry over to the GPU cores as well without increasing TDP. On the grand scale, however, there will be no architectural changes; the platform will continue to feature up to 8 GPU cores.
These AMD APUs will first be featured in the new HP ENVY x360, which is also due to be announced today. Other OEM announcements are expected later in the year. AMD will officially introduce the seventh Gen A-Series APUs around the Computex 2016, which takes place from May 31-June 4.
With the Zen core still headed to high-end desktops later in the year and these APUs coming in just a few weeks, is AMD finally getting its mojo back or is Intel too far out ahead? Sound off in the comments below.