AMD smashes 25x20 APU efficiency goals

Back in 2014, AMD set a goal to improve laptop APU energy efficiency by 25-fold by 2020. It smashed those goals.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Back in June of 2014, building on the 10x APU power efficiencies that AMD managed to achieve in the previous six, the company set itself a moonshot goal to improve the energy efficiency of its Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) but 25x by 2020.

AMD smashed those goals.

AMD's Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processors improves on the energy efficiency compared to the 2014 baseline by 31.7 times, and improvement that not only delivers vastly improved battery life and better performance, but also lower energy costs and reduced environmental impact.

AMD smashes 25x20 goal

AMD smashes 25x20 goal

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"We have always focused on energy efficiency in our processors, but in 2014 we decided to put even greater emphasis on this capability," said Mark Papermaster, chief technology officer and executive vice president, Technology and Engineering at AMD. "Our engineering team rallied around the challenge and charted a path to reach our stretch goal of 25 times greater energy efficiency by 2020. We were able to far surpass our objective, achieving 31.7 times improvement leading to gaming and ultrathin laptops with unmatched performance, graphics and long battery life. I could not be prouder of our engineering and business teams."

But it's not just power saving that AMD has delivered. While there's been an 84 percent reduction in energy use between 2014 to 2020, the average compute time for a given task has also been slashed by 80 percent.

In real terms, this energy reduction means that if a company upgraded 50,000 AMD laptops from 2014 models to 2020 models, they would see get the 84 percent energy reduction, and five times more computing performance, which over a three-year service life of a laptop would slash 1.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity off the power bill and 971,000 kg of carbon emissions, equal to 16,000 trees grown for 10 years.

Power savings in real terms
Power savings in real terms

AMD is rightly proud of the Ryzen 7 4800H, especially since it has outpaced the historical efficiency trend predicted by Koomey's law — a Moore's law analog describing energy efficiency improvement trends — by 2x from 2014 and 2020.

"Six years ago, AMD challenged itself to dramatically improve the real-world energy efficiency of its mobile processors," said Dr Jonathan Koomey, an industry expert on energy efficient computing. "I have reviewed the data and can report that AMD exceeded the 25x20 goal it set in 2014 through improved design, superior optimization and a laser-like focus on energy efficiency. With a chip 31.7 times more energy efficient than its 2014 predecessor, AMD has far outpaced in real-world efficiency gains what would be expected from a traditional Moore's law pace as embodied in Koomey's law."

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