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AMD Launches New G-Series SOC & CPU Solutions

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Leading up to this week's AMD announcement about the company's Embedded G-Series, we note that 2014 has gotten off to a good start on the Embedded Linux front with AMD announcing new partnerships and product releases.

April found AMD joining the Yocto Project as a Gold Member, now sitting on the Yocto Project Advisory Board. Yocto is a Linux Foundation open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products.

AMD also signed a multi-year agreement in April with fellow Yocto Advisory Board members Mentor Graphics, an electronic design automation company and major open source community contributor.

"Mentor Graphics is excited to partner with AMD when you look at their vision and product portfolio of innovative technologies for embedded solutions," said Scot Morrison, general manager of embedded runtime solutions, Mentor Graphics Embedded Software Division. We look forward to delivering the industry’s most robust open-source development ecosystem to market with the upcoming AMD Embedded G- and R-Series products."

Following up their April partnership announcements came AMD's May release announcement of their revolutionary second generation AMD Embedded R-Series solution previously codenamed "Bald Eagle" aimed at several industries, such as digital signage, medical imaging, thin client, and communications and networking, focusing on graphics performance as well as parallel computing applications. 

This month AMD announced their Embedded G-Series family has expanded with their latest x86 System-on-chip (SOC), previously codenamed "Steppe Eagle" and the x86 central processing unit (CPU), previously codenamed "Crowned Eagle." Building upon their April Linux and open source partnership announcements, AMD noted that systems developers now have access to customized embedded Linux development and commercial support on the AMD G-Series family through Mentor Embedded Linux and Sourcery CodeBench, as well as no-cost Mentor Embedded Linux Lite.

So what exactly is the G-Series and the new x86 SOC and CPU solutions? AMD's taken an x86 CPU and GPU with I/O controller and put them on the same die. Also featuring enterprise-class error-correction code (ECC) memory support and dual- and quad-core variants, the G-Series is a power-efficient platform with a small footprint for content-rich multimedia and workload processing of embedded applications. Let's look at some stats from the SOC product brief:

  • AMD G-Series SOC's next-generation "Jaguar" based CPU offers 113 percent improved CPU performance vs. AMD G-Series APU and greater than a 2x (125 percent) advantage vs. Intel Atom when running multiple industry-standard compute-intensive benchmarks.
  • AMD G-Series SOC's advanced GPU, supporting DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2, enables parallel processing and high-performance graphics processing that provides up to 20 percent improvement vs. AMD G-Series APU and a 5x (430 percent) advantage vs. Intel Atom when running multiple industry-standard graphics-intensive benchmarks.
  • Excellent compute and graphics performance with enhanced hardware acceleration delivers up to 70 percent overall improvement vs. AMD G-Series APU and over 3x (2184 percent) the overall performance advantage vs. Intel Atom in embedded applications when running multiple industry-standard compute- and graphics-intensive benchmarks.

Other notable SOC product brief details include:

  • The SOC design offers 33 percent footprint reduction compared to AMD G-Series APU two-chip platform, simplifying design with fewer board layers and simplified power supply.
  • AMD G-Series SOC enables fan-less design that further helps drive down system cost and enhance system reliability by eliminating moving parts.
  • With an array of performance options and universal pin compatibility across the AMD G-Series SOC portfolio, the AMD G-Series SOC platform allows OEMs to utilize a single board design to enable solutions from entry-level to high-end.
  • The SOC design enables new levels of performance in small SBC (single board computer) and COMs (computer-on-modules) form factors.
  • AMD G-Series SOCs support Thermal Design Profiles (TDPs) from 5W to 25W, and offer dynamically configurable TDP capabilities.

Because the new 64-bit x86 CPU previously known as "Crowned Eagle" was designed to meet the growing demand for high performance network services in the cloud, this CPU release is perfectly timed. The CPU is geared for networking and communications infrastructure equipment, featuring PCI-Express Gen 2.0, USB 3.0 and single-channel DDR3-1600 memory with ECC support and TDP as low as 5W. It also has an on-chip security processor, allowing for fan-less security appliances, such as network infrastructure equipment, Network Attached Storage appliances and storage controllers.

While exciting news for Embedded Linux developers, Microsoft and Linux embedded platform developers and users are both likely to get something out of AMD's new G-Series.

For more information on AMD's Embedded G-Series of processors you can head to the G-Series product page.

Also see the Yocto Project and Mentor Graphics for more information on their products and AMD partnerships.