AMD has disclosed its roadmap for the fast growing embedded computing market, as it becomes the first company to offer both ARM and x86 processor solutions for low-power and high-performance embedded compute designs. The new lineup includes two best-in-class x86 accelerated processing units (APUs) and central processing units (CPUs), a first look at a high-performance ARM system-on-chip (SoC), and a new family of discrete AMD Embedded Radeon graphics processing units (GPUs) expected to launch in 2014.
These additions provide the embedded industry’s engineering community with more choices to match their exact design needs, and are designed to offer improvements in performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar. Together with the recent launch of the AMD Embedded G-Series SOC family that set a superior performance-per-watt low-power multicore APUs, these latest additions to the embedded product roadmap further signify a strategic push by AMD to focus on the high-growth embedded market.
The embedded systems market is vast and forms the underpinning for the Surround Computing era. This market is comprised of different segments of which intelligent embedded devices – those enabled with high-performance microprocessors, IP connectivity, and high level operating systems – are quickly becoming the most significant. A recent VDC Research report indicates the market for CPUs in traditional and intelligent embedded systems will grow 36 percent from roughly 330 million units in 2013 to more than 450 million units by 2016 with x86 and ARM architectures accounting for 82 percent of the total addressable market (TAM).
“AMD is committed to providing the embedded community with the solutions required to succeed in today’s transformative market as it continues to expand at an unprecedented rate,” says Arun Iyengar, Vice President and General Manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. “There are different customer needs in different segments of this market, from low-power to high-performance, Linux to Windows, and x86 to ARM, and now with our upcoming product portfolio, we are addressing them by providing embedded design engineers with a range of solutions backed by our embedded longevity program for supply stability assurance to fit their every need,” he added.
“The unprecedented rise of intelligent-connected solutions over the next several years will require a myriad of ultra low-power to ultra high-performance solutions connecting devices to the cloud,” informs Jim McGregor, Principal Analyst with TIRIAS Research. “With their new roadmap, AMD leverages both ARM and x86 computing and graphics architectures to fulfill the company’s vision of creating an ambidextrous ecosystem. The current products combined with the new roadmap offer price, performance and power options to meet the needs of embedded designers.”
In 2014, AMD plans to bring to market two new high performance AMD Embedded R-Series processor families; the “Hierofalcon” CPU SOC family based on the ARM Cortex-A57 architecture and the “Bald Eagle” APU and CPU offering based on the x86 microprocessor architecture codenamed “Steamroller.” The upcoming “Steppe Eagle” APU SOC is designed to provide improved performance while extending the low-power characteristics of the current AMD Embedded G-Series SOC family. In addition, “Adelaar” will bring to market the first discrete GPU based on AMD Graphics Core Next architecture for embedded systems.
With current and future offerings, AMD is actively pursuing this intelligent embedded device market with a broad ecosystem of software and hardware partners supporting multiple operating systems including Windows and Linux. In particular, the company is focusing on:
- Industrial Control & Automation
- Digital Gaming
- Communication Infrastructure
- “Visual Embedded”:
- Digital Signage
- Thin Client
- Medical Imaging
- Auto Infotainment
- Set-top-Box/Internet-enabled smart TV
- Digital Surveillance
“AMD has quickly embraced the need to deliver the right SoC for the right task in one of the industry’s most comprehensive product portfolios for the embedded community,” says Tom Cronk, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Processor Division, ARM. “The addition of devices based on the 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 processor to their embedded roadmap gives designers of high performance embedded systems a solution that delivers incredible savings in terms of both energy and system cost,” he continues.