The Platform

From a design perspective, Carrizo is the biggest departure to AMD’s APU line since the introduction of Bulldozer cores. While the underlying principle of two INT pipes and a shared FP pipe between dual schedulers is still present, the fundamental design behind the cores, the caches and the libraries have all changed. Part of this was covered at ISSCC, which we will also revisit here.

On a high level, Carrizo will be made at the 28nm node using a similar silicon tapered metal stack more akin to a GPU design rather than a CPU design. The new FP4 package will be used, but this will be shared with Carrizo-L, the new but currently unreleased lower-powered ‘Cat’ core based platform that will play in similar markets for lower cost systems. The two FP4 models are designed to be almost plug-and-play, simplifying designs for OEMs. All Carrizo APUs currently have four Excavator cores, more commonly referred to as a dual module design, and as a result the overall design will have 2MB of L2 cache.

Each Carrizo APU will feature AMD’s Graphics Core Next 1.2 architecture, listed above as 3rd Gen GCN, with up to 512 streaming processors in the top end design. Memory will still be dual channel, but at DDR3-2133. As noted in the previous slides where AMD tested on DDR3-1600, probing the memory power draw and seeing what OEMs decide to use an important aspect we wish to test. In terms of compute, AMD states that Carrizo is designed to meet the full HSA 1.0 specification as was released earlier this year. Barring any significant deviations in the specification, AMD expects Carrizo to be certified when the final version is ratified.

Carrizo integrates the southbridge/IO hub into the silicon design of the die itself, rather than a separate on package design. This brings the southbridge down from 40nm+ to 28nm, saving power and reducing long distance wires between the processor and the IO hub. This also allows the CPU to control the voltage and frequency of the southbridge more than before, offering further potential power saving improvements.  Carrizo will also support three displays, allowing for potentially interesting combinations when it comes to more office oriented products and docks. TrueAudio is also present, although the number of titles that support it is few and the quality of both audio codecs and laptop speakers leaves a lot to be desired. Hopefully we will see the TrueAudio DSP opened up in an SDK at some point, allowing more than just specific developers to work with it.

External graphics is supported by a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface, and the system relies on three main rails for voltage across the SoC which allows for separate voltage binning of each of the parts. AMD’s Secure Processor, with cryptography acceleration, secure boot and BitLocker support are all in the mix.

AMD Launches Carrizo: The Laptop Leap of Efficiency Efficiency and Die Area Savings
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  • Cloakstar - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    These scores definitely need validation. If true, Carrizo is a massive win.
    The FX 8800P graphic shows a 3DMark 11 score of nearly 2000 at 15W, and 2700+ at 35W.
    The A10-7850k has a score of 2403 at 95W.
  • azazel1024 - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    I didn't realize AMD's processors were so terrible at video playback. My 2 year old (pushing 3 now) Ivy Bridge i5-3317u equipped HP Envy 4t can manage roughly 6hrs of video playback of a 1080p h.264 12Mbps source and it only has about a 45whr battery in it. With a higher TDP chip and lots of "not power saving" features.
  • creed3020 - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    I am definitely in the market for one of these laptops to replace two older laptops in the house with one new one. If it had Carrizo for the hear I would be mighty happy to support AMD over Intel for this round, as the improvements here sound very much adequate for the system I am looking for.

    The ideal system would be something like the HP Spectre x360 for around $750.
  • michal1980 - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    AMDs problem start with the 1st slide. "more people by notebooks priced between $400 and 700 than at any other price. Almost 2 out of every 5 notbooks sold is in that segment."

    umm, 3 out of 5 notebooks is sold outside of the 400-700 dollar price. Thats greater then 2 out of 5.

    AMD fails math. Fails in general.
  • silverblue - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    No. 3 out of 5 notebooks are either sold below $400, or above $700, and out of those two disparate segments, neither is as large as the $400 - $700 segment.

    There isn't a "math" fail here.
  • takeship - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    The bigger issue is that AMD is admitting they are so uncompetitive in the market that it doesn't make business sense to chase at least 60% of consumers (and ignoring business costumers completely). And realistically, that 400-700 market is really more like a 550-700 market, as 400-500 is close enough to base iPad Air 2/premium Android tab pricing that you lose a lot of sales that direction.
  • silverblue - Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - link

    Surely TrustZone is a sign that they want business customers? Additionally, being able to work on the battery all day is a good thing.
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, June 4, 2015 - link

    Read closer. Their "all day battery" claim is being able to idle for 8 hours. You won't get a full work day out of that.
  • silverblue - Friday, June 5, 2015 - link

    If you class H264 1080p video as idle, sure. My fault for saying "work" though, however if all you're doing is light stuff, you won't be far off.
  • FlushedBubblyJock - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - link

    for amd's sake we'll class idle as full screen video playback and 1.5 hours as all day, and no wifi bluetooth or dvd player active as full multimedia active -
    there, now look, you were correct ! your ego is in tact, you're never wrong

    Calgon take me away

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