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AMD Richland APUs announced

Tom Morgan
12 Mar 2013
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AMD has detailed its latest A-series APU processors for laptops, ready for a launch in time for Summer

AMD has revealed its next generation of A-series APU processors, codenamed Richland, ahead of their launch later this year. The new chips, which are designed for laptops rather than desktops or tablets, are faster and more power efficient than the outgoing Trinity models.

With a roughly 300MHz clock speed increase across the board, the first Richland chips will include A10, A8, A6 and A4 APUs for all laptop sizes, from thin-and-light models to gaming desktop replacements. The quad-core A10-5750M will lead the pack, with a 2.5Ghz clock speed that reaches 3.5GHz using AMD's boost feature. It has 4MB of cache, supports up to DDR3-1866 memory and uses Radeon HD8650G integrated graphics, with 384 Radeon cores running at 533MHz.

AMD Richland

Although AMD hasn't provided exact benchmark figures, we were told that Richland APU graphics will outperform the equivalent Intel HD 4000 GPUs, but cost significantly less for manufacturers to implement and therefore for consumers to buy. The dual- and quad-core A8-5550M, A6-5350M and A4-5150M will soon follow for lower-priced laptops, with accompanying drops in clock speed and GPU performance.

AMD Richland

A TDP of 35W remains unchanged from Trinity, but new on-die temperature sensors are able to better judge when clock boosts are required to balance CPU and GPU workloads. This apparently leads to battery gains in almost all situations, with a massive 47% improvement in consumption when watching HD video.

As Richland is based on existing Piledriver architecture and doesn't produce any extra heat, all new A-series APUs will be compatible with laptop motherboard designs created for Trinity - this should save manufacturers time and money when it comes to upgrading their machines to include the new chips.

Richland has arrived earlier than Trinity did last year, which hopefully suggests we should see laptops running the new chips relatively quickly. Trinity wasn't announced until April/May 2012, and we had to wait until several months later to see laptops available to buy - Richland could be in customers' hands as early as June.

To accompany the launch, AMD will introduce a set of new, simplified logos for manufacturers to label their laptops with. The Vision branding has been retired, in favour of the new design which simply states which A-series chip is inside, along with the number of cores.

AMD Richland

AMD hasn't announced pricing, as it will naturally be up to individual manufacturers to set the cost of each Richland-powered laptop. However, expect them to cost significantly less than the equivalent Intel-powered machines when they do make it to retail later in the year.

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