We all know this by now that AMD is fusing a Jaguar APU inside Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 gaming console. What’s new is that AMD has said that the company would offer a similar but cut down version of the Jaguar APU to consumers later this year.
AMD’s Cut-Down Jaguar APU For Consumers
AMD’s Jaguar APU, which is going to be used inside the PlayStation 4 would feature 8 cores and a rumored clock speed of 1.6 – 2.0 GHz. Each core is associated with with 2 MB of L2 cache and includes new instruction sets such as SSE 4.1/4.2, AES, CLMUL, MOVB, AVE6, F16C and BMI1. Combined with the GPU which is also presumably built on the GCN 2.0 architecture, the system churns up 1.84 TFlops of raw processing power. John Taylor, AMD’sHead of marketing for Global Business Units revealed that the Jaguar APU built for PS4 is the fastest APU they have created yet:
“Everything that Sony has shared in that single chip is AMD [intellectual property], but we have not built an APU quite like that for anyone else in the market. It is by far the most powerful APU we have built to date, it leverages [intellectual property] that you will find in our A-series APUs later this year, our new generation of APUs but none that will quite be to that level of sheer number of cores, sheer number of teraflops.” via TheInquirer
Furthermore, Taylor said that AMD would launch Jaguar APU chips for consumers but not with the same number of cores, neither the compute capability that’s offered on PlayStation 4. AMD’s Jaguar APU which is a low power APU is going to be out in May 2013 with the arrival of Kabini A/X-Series APUs and E-Series in June 2013 as revealed in a previous leak. These new Jaguar APU chips would power the next generation low power tablets and phones and would also be fused in the PlayStation 4 system.
“Taylor said that this is all part of AMD’s “flexible system on chip strategy”, but what the upcoming A-series parts will show is just how much work Sony put into the chip that is found in the PlayStation 4.” Via TheInquirer
The statement provided above shows that AMD is comparing their upcoming A-series parts to Jaguar APU. And by those A-Series parts, AMD is specifically referring not to Kaveri but Richland APUs instead which are the third generation APUs from AMD. Richland being the third generation of APUs is still based on Piledriver architecture which compared to Bulldozer didn’t offered massive performance gains. Jaguar APU compared to Bobcat APU offers 15% more IPC and 10% clock speed improvement. Richland APUs however still being limited to Quad Core design would come with frequencies topping 4 GHz barrier. The Richland APUs would come with Southern Islands IGP solutions while Kabini and Temash, the Jaguar APUs feature similar IGP solutions.
It is still yet to be seen what consumers would AMD target with the cut down version of PlayStation 4’s Jaguar APU. Would it be available on Tablets, netbooks or low power AIO (All In One) desktop solutions, this remains to be seen.
Richland if not ends up faster than the custom Jaguar APU, then there is still another APU architecture planned by AMD which will. Kaveri, the codename for AMD’s fourth generation APU utilizing its full fledged 28nm Steamroller cores would bring huge performance gains on both CPU and GPU front with its GCN 2.0 based IGP, Custom ARM Cortex-A5 core aside the new HSA enhancements and would be launched in Q4 2013. Both Jaguar and Steamroller are built on a 28nm fabrication process, Jaguar being the low-power chip aimed towards tablets and netbooks while Steamroller based Kaveri/FX Processors aiming for the high-end desktop parts.