January/February 2016 - page 50

February 2016
& M
oretical increase of up to 175% (100% * 100
watts / 60%) * 1.05 = 175%) is possible – that’s
an enormous performance boost per given
watt. Under these circumstances, it would
be possible to change designs using first
generation APUs into fanless 15W imple-
mentations without loss of performance.
The improvements don’t stop at the CPU;
the GPU is also new. The integrated AMD
Radeon HD 10000 graphics is now based on
the third generation of the Graphics Core
Next (GCN 1.3) architecture. The Radeon HD
10000 provides up to 8 compute units with
64 execution units each. This adds up to 512
execution units, offering application develop-
ers yet more graphics performance with the
latest DirectX 12 and OpenGL 4.4 3D features.
This makes the new SoCs suited for applica-
tions that require game console level graph-
ics performance on up to three screens. At
the same time, developers can use the AMD
Radeon HD 10000 graphics for GPGPU tasks.
Thanks to full support of the recently adopted
HSA specification 1.0, this is now even eas-
ier. HSA unifies how programmers address
the relevant computing units by dismantling
the programming barriers between CPU and
GPU and minimizing latencies in the commu-
nication between CPU and GPU with a single
memory interface. HSA allows programmers
to develop applications that make optimal use
of the respective CPU and GPU advantages.
With HSA, the individual workloads of the
AMD R-Series SoCs are automatically pro-
cessed by the most suitable computing unit,
leading to the best possible performance and
lowest power draw. The single memory for
CPU and GPU speeds up the communication
between the two computing units.
The memory therefore has a big impact
on overall performance. By supporting
high-bandwidth DDR4 RAM with ECC, the
SoC meets even the requirements of data-crit-
ical server and big data applications. DDR4
RAM is also around 20% more energy effi-
cient than the previous DDR3 RAM, which
has an additional positive effect on the perfor-
mance and power consumption of the overall
For the effective handling of multimedia data,
the SoCs feature a new integrated Universal
Video Decoding Unit 6 that supports the cur-
rent 4K HEVC/H.265 video codec and can
decode 18 1080p video streams compressed in
H.264. The video compression engine (VCE)
has also been improved and in version 3.1 it
can compress up to 9 full-HD video streams
in H.264 for video-rich applications.
In addition, AMD has integrated a platform
security processor (PSP) which incorporates a
hardware-based RSA, HSA, and AES encryp-
tion along with a true random number gener-
ator. Thanks to this additional security engine
and a TPM developers are able to implement
the highest levels of data and communication
security in their applications. This is particu-
larly crucial to protect safety critical IoT and
communications applications from data exfil-
tration and manipulation. On the I/O side, the
new SoCs are also state-of-the-art, providing
PCI Express Gen 3.0 and USB 3.0. This fea-
ture set makes them suited for COM Express
implementations that realize the SoCs full
potential with the Type 6 pinout.
The first three congatec COM Express Basic
modules with AMD R-Series processors are
available with either one of the two 2.1 GHz /
1.8 GHz quad-core AMD Embedded R-Series
processors (RX-421BD / RX-418GD) or a 1.6
GHz dual-core processor (RX-216GD). The
COM Express Basic form factor is suited for
this generation of processors. Not only does it
provide an area of 125x95mm that is adequate
Figure 2. The AMD Embedded R-Series SoCs integrate CPU, GPU and I/O controller. Thanks
to architecture optimizations CPU power draw has been reduced to around 57% without loss of
Figure 3. High-end performance compacted down into 125x95mm: conga-TR3 computer module
with active heatpipe solution mounted on a carrier board.
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