AMD Carrizo promises 40% more energy efficiency over Kaveri

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has unveiled a new A-series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), Carrizo, for laptops, notebooks and desktops which promises a 40 percent gain in CPU energy efficiency over its predecessor, Kaveri.

AMD, which disclosed the architecture details of the new APU at International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), said that Carrizo utilizes both x86 based CPU core named Excavator and next generation of AMD Radeon GPU cores.

Carrizo like Kaveri is a 28 nanometre chip, but AMD said it’s able to extract 29 percent more transistors in nearly the same die size as the previous generation Kaveri APU. Carrizo has 3.1 billion transistors. Increase transistor density allowed larger area for graphics, multimedia offload and integration of the “Southbridge” system controller on a single ship.

The inclusion of H.265 in hardware will support true 4K resolutions, help extend battery life and reduce bandwidth requirements when viewing compatible video streaming.


Carrizo will support Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) as well as heterogeneous Unified Memory Access (hUMA), which gives CPU and GPU the same memory address space. HSA makes GPU simpler, ideally leading to greater application performance at low power consumption.

AMD has developed a number of technologies to optimize voltage. Carrizo is AMDs first APU which performs voltage adaptive operations in both GPU and CPU portions of the APU. That cuts the CPU’s power usage by 19 percent and the GPU’s power usage by 10 percent, with almost no compromise in computing performance.

Carrizo is also launching power technology called adaptive voltage and frequency scaling (AVFS) which involves implementation of unique, patented silicon speed capability sensors and voltage sensors in addition to traditional temperature and power sensors. AVFS can lead to up to 30 percent power savings.

AMD’s energy efficiency innovations aim to deliver power savings on the order of a manufacturer technology shrink while staying in a well characterized, cost optimized 28nm process.

Carrizo will be launching in Q2, 2015.

Shilpa Khatri
[email protected]