Once upon a time, all chipmakers could think about was cores and performance. Now the tide is changing, and instead the focus has shifted onto getting as much performance as possible for every watt going into the chip.
AMD's new G-series SoC processors pushes power consumption into the realm of single digit wattage. The new AMD GX-210JA is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) with a TDP of only 6 watts, but according to AMD its average comsumption is closer to 3 watts during normal usage.
But don't let the power consumption fool you into thinking this is a lightweight part. The GX-210JA is a dual-core, fanless 1GHz processor that also packs a discrete Radeon HD 8180 GPU running at 225MHz, and comes complete with support for enterprise-class ECC RAM.
On th downside, it is missing USB 3.0 support, and only comes with 1MB of L2 cache.
AMD is aiming the new part not at the stagnant PC market, but instead at markets such as digital signage, thin client systems, medical imaging, media players, and automation.
"The advance of APU processor design, the Surround Computing era, and The Internet of Things has created the demand for embedded devices that are low power but also offer excellent compute and graphics performance," said Arun Iyengar, vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Systems.
"AMD Embedded G-Series SOC products offer unparalleled compute, graphics and I/O integration, resulting in fewer board components, low-power use, and reduced complexity and overhead cost. The new GX-210JA operates at an average of approximately 3 watts, enabling a new generation of fanless designs for content-rich, multimedia and traditional workload processing."
The GX-210JA is currently shipping to OEMs, but the price hasn't been disclosed.
AMD continues to distance itself from the PC by entering into different markets, and the new G-series SoC is just the latest move of that shift. Rumors are circulating – from a number of reliable sources – that AMD's FX line of CPUs will soon be discontinued as the company moves from CPUs to APUs that combine both the CPU and GPU onto a single chip.