AMD Kaveri: 4th Generation A‑Series Desktop APU is Announced

By | January 14, 2014

AMD announced its 2014 A‑Series APU for the desktop plat­form, code-named “Kaveri”. Kaveri built in the new FM2+ pack­age. AMD integ­rate two of its new­est CPU and GPU micro-archi­tec­tures, “Steam­roller” for CPU and Graph­ics CoreNext 2.0 for the GPU. Kaveri is also built on new­er gen­er­a­tion 28nm SHP (Super High Per­form­ance) sil­ic­on fab process.

AMD Kaveri APU

AMD Kaveri has 245mm2 die with 2.41 bil­lion total tran­sist­ors. A “Steam­roller” mod­ule is a com­bin­a­tion of two 64-bit x86 cores, which fea­ture ded­ic­ated and shared com­pon­ents. Kaveri has two such mod­ules and so phys­ic­ally, it fea­tures a quad-core CPU.

AMD Kaveri APU cores

Kaveri has eight GCN com­pute units, which make up 512 stream pro­cessors way more when com­pares to its pre­cead­er 384 stream pro­cessors. The GPU sup­ports Dir­ectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3 and Mantle. It also sup­ports AMD’s TrueAu­dio tech­no­logy. The GPU sup­ports Ultra-HD (3840 X 2160 pixels) dis­play at 60 Hz refresh rate over Dis­play­Po­rt 1.2. It sup­ports 4 dis­play outputs.

The uncore por­tion of “Kaveri”, AMD developed a new-gen­er­a­tion integ­rated memory con­trol­ler (IMC), which sup­ports up to 64 GB of dual-chan­nel DDR3-2400 MHz memory. The second big high­light in the uncore depart­ment is the PCI-Express root com­plex, which now gives out up to 24 lanes of PCI-Express gen 3.0. This should trans­late into bet­ter Cross­Fire per­form­ance, in which a pair of graph­ics cards are giv­en an 8‑lane PCI-Express link, each.

AMD Kaveri APU

The Kaveri uses HSA (Het­ero­gen­eous Sys­tems Archi­tec­ture), is an intel­li­gent com­put­ing archi­tec­ture that enables CPU, GPU and oth­er pro­cessors to work togeth­er in har­mony on a single piece of sil­ic­on by seam­lessly mov­ing the right tasks to the best suited pro­cessing ele­ment. HSA will empower soft­ware developers to eas­ily innov­ate and unleash new levels of per­form­ance and func­tion­al­ity on mod­ern com­put­ing devices, lead­ing to power­ful new exper­i­ences such as visu­ally rich, intu­it­ive, human-like interactivity.

AMD hUMA

Anoth­er main fea­ture of Kaveri is hUMA (Het­ero­gen­eous Uni­form Memory Access), is a shared memory archi­tec­ture used in APUs (Accel­er­ated Pro­cessing Units). In a hUMA archi­tec­ture, the CPU and the GPU (inside the APU) have full access to the entire sys­tem memory. hUMA improves the per­form­ance and effi­ciency of the pro­cessor by enabling the CPU and the GPU to seam­lessly share data. This should trans­late to great­er sys­tem memory avail­able to the OS (as “hard­ware reserved” GPU memory is elim­in­ated), and bet­ter GPG­PU performance.

AMD Kaveri APU