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AMD announces new A-Series APU codenamed ‘Richland’

AMD’s new Elite A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for notebooks are ready to replace the barely year-old Trinity platform. The four new 35W APUs are built on 32nm technology, offering slightly higher turbo clock rates and Radeon HD 8000 series GPUs.

AMD appears to be shifting gears in regards to its mobile processor refresh cycle as it has only been 10 months since Trinity’s release. Even in the fast-paced world of CPU tech, that is a fairly short time in which to name a successor. Here are the four new Richland models and their previous generation Trinity counterparts:

Description Core/Module CPU clock L2 Cache Graphics Shader units GPU clock max. Memory TDP
A10-5750M 4 (2) 2.5 - 3.5 GHz 4 MB HD 8650G 384 (VLIW4) 533 - 720 MHz DDR3-1866 35 W
A8-5550M 4 (2) 2.1 - 3.1 GHz 4 MB HD 8550G 256 (VLIW4) 515 - 720 MHz DDR3-1600 35 W
A6-5350M 2 (1) 2.9 - 3.5 GHz 1 MB HD 8450G 192 (VLIW4) 533 - 720 MHz DDR3-1600 35 W
A4-5150M 2 (1) 2.7 - 3.3 GHz 1 MB HD 8350G 128 (VLIW4) 514 - 720 MHz DDR3-1600 35 W
Trinity (Selection)
A10-4600M 4 (2) 2.3 - 3.2 GHz 4 MB HD 7660G 384 (VLIW4) 497 - 686 MHz DDR3-1600 35 W
A8-4500M 4 (2) 1.9 - 2.8 GHz 4 MB HD 7640G 256 (VLIW4) 497 - 686 MHz DDR3-1600 35 W
A6-4400M 2 (1) 2.7 - 3.2 GHz 1 MB HD 7520G 192 (VLIW4) 497 - 686 MHz DDR3-1600 35 W
A4-4300M 2 (1) 2.5 - 3.0 GHz 1 MB HD 7420G 128 (VLIW4) 480 - 655 MHz DDR3-1600 35 W

As can be seen in the chart above, AMD is continuing along its naming scheme. Headlining the new APUs is the A10-5750M followed by the A8-5550M, A6-5350M and A4-5150M. In regards to Trinity, the new Richland APUs receive a 200MHz base-clock boost, a 300MHz turbo-clock boost and an ever so slight GPU clock boost.

AMD Richland Plattform

Richland is basically a Trinity refresh with improved clock speeds, while retaining the original 2 or 4 core designs. The top of the line A10-5750M should be roughly on par with a Core i3-2330M.

The same goes for Richland’s integrated graphics, where we expect a relatively modest performance gain. The exception however is the A-10’s Radeon HD 8650G with its faster DDR3-1866 memory, which should show a slightly higher improvement over the rest of the APUs in the series. AMD should therefore be expanding its existing lead on Intel's HD 4000 GPU.

While technically the CPU and GPU are virtually no different to Trinity, a revision of the turbo’s microcontroller provides the new APUs with improved performance in the same power envelope. Richland has finer control over temperatures and power consumption, resulting in increased efficiency and improved system performance. A new algorithm detects a bottlenecked CPU or GPU and only sends power to the unit that truly needs it (or provides it more efficiently to both). According to AMD, Trinity would get tricked into sending power to both.

Optimized Turbo-Core Feature

Performance and traditional notebooks with A-Series APUs will be available this month in select regions. New, low-voltage (and desktop) variants are expected to be available in the first half of 2013.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2013 03 > AMD announces new A-Series APU codenamed ‘Richland’
Till Schönborn/ Alex Storey, 2013-03-12 (Update: 2013-06-24)