SAN JOSE – AMD announced a family of embedded processors based on its new Trinity integrated x86 and graphics chip, itself formally launched just a week ago. The AMD Embedded R-Series includes as many as eight chips that merge x86 and graphics cores and two related I/O controllers.
Like the Trinity parts, the R-Series sports members with up to four of AMD’s latest Piledriver x86 cores and 384 graphics cores. The embedded devices are unique in that AMD will guarantee their availability for at least five years and support them with a dedicated embedded service group.
In addition, AMD supports PCI Express Gen 2 on the BGA version of the chips, needed for some high-end embedded applications. It also supports the older 32-bit PCI bus on its A75 controller systems that still need the link.
AMD targets a wide range of uses for the chips including video conferencing, point of sale, medical and security systems. For applications that benefit from multiple displays, such as casino gaming or video walls in digital signage, the chips support four integrated DVI interfaces to link to four independent displays or video feeds.
A handful of embedded systems designs said they will use the chips. Advantech-Innocore and Quixant will use them in casino game machines, iBase will use them in digital signs and Congatec and DFI will use them in COM Express modules. In addition, Axiomtek and Shenzhen Xinzhixin will use the chips in MiniITX motherboards, and J&W IPC will put them in a custom board supporting ten DisplayPort displays.
“We are excited about taking full advantage of the more powerful AMD Embedded R-Series APUs in our designs,” said Dirk Finstel, chief technology officer of Kontron, speaking in an AMD press statement.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.