Last week Giuseppe Amato discussed AMD’s mobile roadmap for the next two years. Although the mobile platform roadmap in his presentation was identical to the one from the Fall 2006 AMD Analyst Day, he added some interesting details during the session.
Although Amato was very scarce with details about the 65nm versions of current Turion 64 X2 CPUs — codenamed Hawk. “These [processors] will appear anytime soon to the market,” Amato said.
AMD will reveal its K10 based CPU for mobile markets under the family code name Griffin in 2008. Griffin will be largely similiar to K10-derived chips for desktop and server use. Amato emphasizes Griffin will be a design specifically optimized for mobile use.
In the past, AMD only optimized server and desktop CPUs for mobile use, Griffin will differ in some areas considerably. For example, a mobile CPU doesn’t need the full FPU of the K10 architecture, Amato hypothesized. Additionally, Griffin’s design allows the possibility to entirely remove power for the second core, leaving one core active.
Some time before Griffin is set to surface, AMD will introduce Hybrid Graphics. According to Amato, we should see this exciting combination of integrated and discrete graphics this fall. The basic concept of this technology is the system can run power-saving integrated graphics when using battery power. When the platform is connected to a wall outlet, a discrete graphics card immediately switches on, delivering higher performance. This switching will work without a restart and its behaviour should be user-configurable – at least to some degree.
Currently AMD delivers native HDMI output on the 690M chipset, mobile IGP chipsets of 2008 will feature DisplayPort. Amato explained DisplayPort can be used to connect to different kinds of displays (HDMI, DVI) using adapters.
Amato also hinted that in 2008, AMD IGP chipsets will receive R600-derived graphics cores featuring native DX10 and Universal Video Decoder (UVD) support. The UVD provides hardware-decoding of H.264 in a more advanced way when compared to current video acceleration technologies from both AMD, in the form of Avivo. While previous methods only accelerated parts of the decoding pipeline, UVD is dedicated logic for all steps so the CPU can more or less rest. Amato noted that when accompanied with an UVD, a Sempron CPU at 1GHz could decode 1080p video content without a hitch.
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