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

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.


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