AMD in a few months would launch their third generation of Richland APUs which would be a refresh of Trinity based on the Piledriver architecture and HD 8000 IGPs. Set to replace it in Q4 2013 is AMD’s true next generation Kaveri APU which would feature steamroller cores and GCN based IGP solutions.
AMD Kaveri APU To Use GDDR5/DDR4 Memory Controller?
BrightSideofNews pointed out on some rather interesting information about the upcoming Kaveri APU. The source points out that the Kaveri APU uses GDDR5 memory in addition to the DDR3 memory allocated to the iGP chip. AMD is planning to use a 128-bit GDDR5 memory interface with Kaveri APU platform, it is unknown though that if the GDDR5 memory chips would be permanently soldered on the FM2/FM3 motherboard itself or would use some other configuration layout. Capacity would play a key point here since 1/2 GB since is considered a bit low for overall system ram and higher capacities would just increase the cost of the system itself since GDDR5 is quite expensive.
While all GDDR5 news sounds good since its something new for the PC platform and is also arriving on the PS4 console, an article on 3DCenter mentions that while BSN is true on the fact that Kaveri APU would come with a faster memory controller, it is not necessarily using GDDR5 but instead a DDR4 memory controller. This is a much more likely possibility and 3DCenter mentions that there would be two Kaveri APU platforms, one based around the DDR3 memory controller “FM2 Socket” and the other based around a DDR4 memory controller “FM2 socket” and the clock speeds that BSN have mentioned from the internal NDA document just fall in line of what we can expect from DDR4 memory speeds.
Kaveri APU “FM2” platform would be able to support upto DDR3-2500/2400/2133 MHz modules while the FM3 Kaveri APU platform is likely to support DDR4 memory with 3200/3400 MHz frequencies. The internal IGP chip would also get a faster 128-bit DDR3/DDR4 interface. GDDR5 or DDR4, what the new memory interfaces would help is to provide a boost to the much needed bandwidth with 51.2 GB/s and 54.4 GB/s memory bandwidth compared to 25.6 GB/s achievable with current DDR3 memory setups.
This would help drive much faster iGPU performance from Kaveri APU GCN architecture. This means that we could be nearing the point when entry/low level discrete GPUs would become completely obsolete due to better performers on AMD’s APU and Intel’s Haswell/Broadwell front. Additionally, Kaveri APU would get upto four steamroller modules, PCI-e 3.0 functionality and other HSA enhancements. AMD is also said to be planning a custom Jaguar APU of the PlayStation 4 or a rather cut down variant of the same APU for desktop consumers. Let’s wait and see how well that would play out, for now you can head over here to learn the launch schedules of AMD’s Richland, Kabini, Kaveri APUs and more.