AMD Kaveri APU With SteamrollerB Core Features 20% CPU and 30% GPU Performance Uplift Over Richland – Platform Details Unveiled

Hassan Mujtaba

Update - The Kaveri 2.0 APU details mentioned in this article are based around the mobile variants which will be clocked much lower at around 1.8 GHz hence the performance improvement compared to Richland looks to be a phenomenal increase.

There's also some confusion surrounding the multi-threaded core architecture the APU would feature. It has been mentioned by AMD in their slides that clearly mentions four x86 Steamroller multi-threaded cores. It also shows 2 Decoders, 4 Pipelines per Decode and 2 L1 cache per core. So that equates to 8 threads on the Kaveri APU. We still don't have any official word on this from AMD other than the slide but ill update you guys on this as soon as more information comes out.

About two weeks ago, AMD announced their next generation Kaveri APU featuring the SteamrollerB cores and GCN graphics at the AMD Developer Summit 2013. Today, we have some more details regarding the platform's performance and features which we have been waiting to know for some time now.

AMD Kaveri APU Features 20% CPU and 30% GPU Performance Uplift Over Richland

We already know that AMD's Steamroller core architecture would  be incorporated inside the heart of the new APU. The Kaveri APU would feature upto four SteamrollerB cores with a total of 4 MB L2 cache. This would be backed up by the new temperature start turbo core technology (Turbo Core 3.0) which would provide the APU with boosted clock speeds depending on temperature and power levels. We really don't know how this would work till AMD sends us a sample of the Kaveri to test but that isn't going to happen until January 2014 so its best to wait for more information.

The part you want to learn is that the leaked slide mentions the SteamrollerB and GCN core actually provides a 20% CPU side performance uplift and 30% GPU side improvement over Richland APU. This is the same trend as was seen in AMD's high-performance core roadmap which showed an annual 10-15% IPC improvement over past predecessors. Since Richland is based on the Piledriver core which itself is an improved Bulldozer variant, the new Kaveri APU's 20% CPU-Side improvement was pretty much expected.

As for the graphics side, the 30% increase due to the new Graphics Next Core seems pretty good i still think there's room for more improvement over the older VLIW based IGP. The 512 Stream processors are going to bring performance close to a Radeon HD 7750 which would allow users to play Battlefield 4 at 1080P without a discrete GPU. It is also mentioned that the GPU would be available in various configurations since it belongs to the Radeon R7 and Radeon R5 family.

The most surprising thing to note is that while the desktop dual graphics options have not been mentioned, it is mentioned that the mobility parts would offer Dual graphics compatibility with AMD's Crystal Series chips. The Crystal Series chips are mobility graphics parts that would feature GCN core architecture and arrive in early 2014. That plus the new Audio Co-Processor would be integrated inside the die which would allow for AMD True Audio.

AMD Kaveri APU 856 GFlops

As expected, the A88X 'Bolton FCH" would allow PCI-Express x16 3.0 interface and PCIe SSD interface which is something AMD has been lacking for some time now. The new FCH chipset would be used on both Desktop and Mobility platforms. We know that the AMD A10-7850K is going to be AMD's flagship APU and would release on 14th January along with two other A8/A10 series products. Expect more details soon!

Model AMD A10-7850K ‘Kaveri’ AMD A10-6800K ‘Richland’ AMD A10-5800K ‘Trinity’
Cores/Threads 4/4 4/4 4/4
Turbo Core 3.0 Yes Yes Yes
Base Clock 3.7 GHz 4.1 GHz 3.8 GHz
Turbo Clock 4.0 GHz + 4.4 GHz 4.2 GHz
L2 Cache 4 MB L2 4 MB L2 4 MB L2
Unlocked Design Yes Yes Yes
Graphics Core GCN Radeon R7 Series HD 8670D HD 7660D
GPU Cores 512 Cores 384 Cores 384 Cores
GPU Clock 720 MHz + 844 MHz 800 MHz
TDP 95W 100W 100W
Launch Date 14th January 2014 4th June 2013 2nd October 2012
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