AMD finally gets serious about tablets with Beema and Mullins APU

AMD finally gets serious about tablets with Beema and Mullins APU

Summary: On an architectural level both Beema and Mullins are not that different to Kabini and Temash, but this hasn't stopped AMD packing the APUs with some cool new features and making significant improvements.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware
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Today is the day that AMD officially launches the Beema and Mullins APUs, parts that the company claim will dramatically change the mobile playing field.

(Source: AMD)

Beema and Mullins are updates to the low-power Kabini (aimed at notebooks) and Temash (aimed at tablets) SoCs that AMD shipped last year. Normally, what you'd expect from this refresh is a small frequency boost and better power consumption. However, with Beema and Mullins, AMD is going much further, and take performance per watt to a new level.

(Source: AMD)
(Source: AMD)

On an architectural level both Beema and Mullins are not that different to Kabini and Temash, but this hasn't stopped AMD packing the APUs with some cool new features and making significant improvements.

These new features include:

  • Turbo Core: While both Kabini and Temash could power down clock speeds in order to conserve power, neither featured a Turbo mode to boost performance for single-threaded workloads. The Beema and Mullins APU line both add this ability to certain parts (all Mullins parts have this feature, but only the A6-6310 Beema chip does) allowing the Beema silicon to boost up to 2.4GHz while Mullins can go up to 2.2GHz.
  • ARM TrustZone: Mullins and Beema are the first AMD processors to feature the ARM Cortex-A5 on-die TrustZone open-standard platform for additional system security and management. This should be on interest to corporate and government customers.
  • AMD Enduro: Allows for even better battery life.
  • New thermal monitoring: Beema and Mullins will include the ability to measure the chassis temperature of the laptop or tablet and will adjust frequency to keep the temperature at a user-defined level.

AMD has published a lot of benchmark data showing significant gains compared to the previous generation hardware, but we will have to wait for hardware powered by Beema and Mullins to land before we can see how this translates in the real world.

(Source: AMD)
(Source: AMD)

AMD also offered us a tantalizing peek at what is coming in the future, features such as integrating its voltage regulator on-die and even better boost technology.

(Source: AMD)

"When designing our 2014 Mainstream and Low-Power APUs, we were determined to once again set the standard in graphics and total compute performance in fanless form factor categories – and we’ve done just that," said Bernd Lienhard, AMD corporate vice president and general manager, Client Products. "These processors combine the latest core technologies – including the first-ever ARM-based security solution on an x86 processor – with user experiences that will delight consumer and commercial buyers alike in a package that’s impressively energy efficient."

Will these chips be enough to give AMD a foothold in the mobile space? 

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Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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5 comments
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  • Will these new chips

    find a place in the new AM1 motherboards? [IOW, will there be FPGA versions?]

    It should happen, if AMD wishes for any expansion in the AM1 arena.
    chrome_slinky@...
    • I'd hope

      For an AM1 version of these! They look to already be a nice step forward for that platform aswell and if they plan to bring Am1 versions... then it would be a great value add for the platform.
      Jimster480
  • These look awesome.

    Multi threaded CPU performance on par with Baytrail (1.47 vs 1.48) Single thread permance that is significantly better (0.54 vs 0.40) and GPU performance that blows it away (24,867 vs 15,082) all while at only slightly higher maximum power draw (4.5w vs 4w) although we will need more detailed analysis of a final device to really see how this stacks up. All we need to see now are some design wins (I believe Samsung and Lenovo are commuted to releasing devices) and a competitive price point (most Temash devices were in the $300-$500 range) and AMD could finally have a real winner on its hands.

    To be honest I am left feeling that a decade of market dominance, by one means or another, and a manufacturing advantage have clearly made Intel's engineers lazy and complacent. If AMD can achieve results like this with a 2D 28nm chip what exactly are Intel spending all that RnD money on?
    Daishi83
    • I really would like AMD to succeed

      However Intel always seems to be a couple of steps ahead. It will be interesting to see what Intel drops when it churns out on it's 14nm process node.
      Alan Smithie
    • I'd love to see it too

      AMD has really been making huge advancements with its older fab technology! Intel has been dumping billions into R&D and yet they can't make a competitive chip. Just now they are catching upto Temash.... and thats sad. Now Puma+ sets the bar further again even though they are at a major fab disadvantage. But now that Samsungs FinFET has been licensed to GloFo.. if they port their designs to that tech... then AMD will have a huge advantage over Intel as clearly they have far better designs. Intel is just paying for design wins and paying for Reviews, much like they have done for a while now.
      Jimster480